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Week-ending 6 January 2012

posted 8 Jan 2012, 10:47 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 8 Jan 2012, 10:48 ]

Putin on protests 

Churov will not resign

Church to mediate? 

Kudrin calls for fresh elections

Protestors arrested

Udaltsov released

Nikitenko released

Law enforcement personnel changes

Voina incinerate police vehicle 

Lawyer banned
Election fallout 
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaking in a televised message on 31/12, said there was nothing unusual in the mass protests against his domination of Russia. Putin called protests “the unavoidable price of democracy.” (RFE/RL, 31/12) 

On 5/1 Central Election Commission chief Vladimir Churov, speaking on Echo of Moscow radio, dismissed protesters’ demands he step down over alleged fraud and said he would listen only to the nations’ leaders. (The Washington Post, 5/1) 

On 5/1 senior Russian Orthodox Church official Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said the authorities should respond to people’s concerns. On 3/1 Aleksei Navalny said he would like to see the Church act as a mediator. (New York Times, 6/1) 

On 6/1 ex-finance minister Aleksei Kudrin wrote in his blog that the government should agree to hold fresh parliamentary elections. (, 6/1) 

On 31/12 police arrested about a dozen protesters trying to attend a Moscow rally in defence of the right of assembly. Some of those arrested wore white ribbons, the sign of protest against electoral fraud. (BBC, 31/12) 

On 4/1 Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front movement, in detention since 4/12, was released from prison. (BBC Russian Service, 4/1) 

On 4/1 Yaroslav Nikitenko, deputy head of a group fighting a Moscow-to-St. Petersburg highway project that runs through Khimki Forest, was released from detention. Nikitenko was detained at a late-December rally in support of Udaltsov and also released on 4/1, after serving a 10-day sentence. (RFE/RL, 5/1) 

Law enforcement personnel 
As PM Putin prepares to resume the presidency, reports said officials appointed by President Medvedev are expected to be removed from law enforcement departments. (, 3/1) 

The art collective Voina announced on 2/1 that its members had incinerated a police vehicle on 31/12 at a St Petersburg police station used to transport prisoners. (The New York Times, 2/1) 

Canadian lawyer barred 
Winnipeg lawyer and human rights activist David Matas has been banned from speaking publicly in Russia in connection with a book entitled Bloody Harvest that he and co-author David Kilgour published in 2009 about the persecution in China of members of the Falun Gong. (Winnipeg Free Press, 4/1)
Rights in Russia,
8 Jan 2012, 10:48