Russian Media

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Tamara Morshchakova: "The courts can do whatever they like with us, if there is no requirement to provide reasons for a verdict" [MBKh Media]

posted by Rights in Russia   [ updated ]

8 February 2018 

By Tamara Morshchakova, doctor of law and a retired judge of the Russian Constitutional court

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group (original source: MBKh media

A draft bill drawn up by the Plenum of the Supreme Court, on the abolition of the requirement to provide the reasons for a verdict, and the replacement of the appeal court judicial panel by a single judge, has drawn sharp criticism from experts on civil and procedural law.

Tamara Morshchakova, doctor of law and a retired judge of the Russian Constitutional court, has expressed sharp criticism of the draft bill. In conversation with “MBK Media” she talked about how the new legislative initiative would influence legal proceedings in Russia, and why the academic community is categorically opposed to it: 

“The academic legal community believes it is unacceptable”

Just about everyone who studies civil and procedural law has said that it is unacceptable. Ultimately it cancels the need for justification of court rulings at the moment of their rendition.

In this respect, academics from various universities and research institutions have prepared a statement. It is signed and attached to it are individual comments regarding this draft bill. I think that this is a very serious action of civic commitment on the part of the academic community.

I support the active stance taken by opponents of this draft bill. Our academic community is behaving in a very mature way, and this is a positive moment. The academic community is an important part of civil society, it is a community of experts. Who knows better? Clearly not grannies on street corners. But even they already understand that the courts can do whatever they like with us, if there is no requirement to provide reasons for a verdict.

The academics have written a statement criticising the bill, and forwarded it to the Supreme Court and the Human Rights Council. 

"They have decided that they have many cases and would like to ease the problem for themselves.” 

Everything is done so that things are easy for the judges: they make a decision, go home and are not answerable before anyone. And it is not clear at all on what grounds one can appeal to a higher court. They say: “Good if you want to appeal, we shall prepare the grounds.” But a person will not even know if they should appeal or not. 

“Very few cases reach the appeal court because nobody believes in the justice system”

Our system of appeals is not working. It should work according to the rules of courts of first instance: consider all the materials, all the evidence. But it doesn’t do this. It works like the old, cassational appeal court: after twenty minutes they issue a decision, which they make public. In that way they will never get to the bottom of anything.

And who will determine conflicts of interest in relation to the judges themselves? The judges? None of this bears any scrutiny.

Those who say that very few cases reach the appeal courts because nobody believes in the justice system, are right. Nobody believes that it is possible to defend oneself in any sort of court.

This is absolutely not a reason for the legislative initiative that has been put forward. The grounds for every decision by a court must be set out. That is the requirement laid down in the law on judicial process.

This new law would mean that the courts won’t need to explain to people why they consider some folk guilty and others innocent. They won’t give any explanations, but will use the repressive judicial system to mete out retribution as they please. This is totally unsatisfactory.

This is the kind of simplification of the judicial system that people have been fighting against. Of course, some forms of simplification are necessary, and they have been suggested: out of court settlements, court orders upholding the rights of one of the parties to a dispute, and alternative processes for settling disputes before they come to trial. By all means, make use of these methods and teach people to sort things out among themselves. This is also the responsibility of the court.

It’s very likely the bill will be adopted, and then we shall bid goodbye to the rule of law. The justice system will not defend the rights of people. If such a bill were adopted it won’t be possible to protect the rights of people. And a person won’t be able to understand to what extent they have been defended and to what extent ripped off. 

Evgeny Bobrov, a member of the Human Rights Council and director of the human rights organisation “Voskhod”, confirmed that members of the academic community have issued the statement to which Tamara Morshchakova referred: “The statement was received in December, and an examination of this question is scheduled for the end of February,” he told MBK Media.

The draft bill put forward by the Plenum of the Supreme Court has been published on the website of the State Duma.

Translated by Frances Robson

Elena Masiuk: To the attention of prisoners: Stop sending your complaints to Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission [Ekho Moskvy]

posted 18 Feb 2018, 11:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Feb 2018, 11:17 ]

13 February 2018 

By Elena Masiuk, Novaya gazeta correspondent, member of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, member of Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission (3rd convocation), laureate of the Moscow Helsinki Group prize for protecting human rights 

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group (original source: Ekho Moskvy

That's right, don’t write any longer, because now all your complaints go straight to the Moscow department of the Federal Prison Service. That means that your letter goes to those whom you are complaining about, although on the envelope you have written Public Monitoring Commission (PMC). And, as a consequence, since the beginning of the year the Moscow Prison Service has not passed on a single letter to the human rights activists.

The story behind the absurd situation is this. For its first two convocations, the official address of Moscow’s PMC was Garibaldi St, 5, building 1. There was something approaching an office there. For its 3rd convocation, only the postal address of Garibaldi St. still existed. Letters from prisoners carried on coming to Garibaldi St but often went missing. Anton Tsvetkov, the then chair of the Moscow PMC, and at the same time chair of the PMC of the Public Chamber, resolved the issue of letters quite simply and sensibly. In all Moscow’s remand centres and police cells, the address of Moscow’s PMC was stated to be that of the Public Chamber. No, no one ordered the staff of the Public Chamber to deal with the incoming mail for the PMC: the letters were simply redirected to the relevant secretary of the Moscow PMC.

The new membership of the Public Chamber has decided, unequivocally, to exclude from inside its walls any reference to the defence of human rights. In early autumn last year Pavel Andreev, the head of the secretariat of the Public Chamber, forbid the Moscow PMC to use the Chamber’s address for letters from prisoners. Valery Fadeev, Secretary of the Public Chamber, assured human rights activists that he had no objection to correspondence for the PMC coming via the Public Chamber.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of January the Public Chamber demanded, categorically, that the Moscow Prison Service cease sending them letters from prisoners addressed to the Moscow PMC. The Moscow Prison Service now gives the address for the Moscow PMC as….the Moscow Prison Service. And the rest you already know: complaints from prisoners no longer reach the Moscow PMC.

The situation where the Moscow PMC does not have an office and, consequently, has no official address is scandalous for a region as rich as Moscow. After all the federal law No. 76 on public oversight of government bodies states that regional authorities have the right to provide financial, property and other support to PMCs. But if the Public Chamber is so short-sighted, gradually extinguishing public control in the country, perhaps the Mayor of Moscow will be more astute? ! Well, ladies and gentlemen, just in case, spare a thought for yourselves: today you are highly-placed officials, and tomorrow you could simply be prisoners.

Translated by Mary McAuley

Elena Masiuk: Political Prostitution [Ekho Moskvy]

posted 18 Feb 2018, 09:15 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Feb 2018, 10:08 ]

10 February 2018 

By Elena Masiuk, Novaya gazeta correspondent, member of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, laureate of the Moscow Helsinki Group prize for the protection of human rights 

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group (original source: Ekho Moskvy

Roskomnadzor [Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications] has once again shown itself to be a real instrument of censorship. Although, naturally, Roskomnadzor director Zharov loves to repeat that the organization he heads is not a censorship agency, since “censorship assumes the review of an article or other information before it appears on air or in print. But we react after the fact. Therefore we have no censorship.” Isn’t that an amazing way to put it!

But what does Mr. Zharov call the double standard in his department’s decisions? Here are two examples from the history of Roskomnadzor’s hypocrisy. First example. As of yesterday, the media have been informed by Roskomnadzor of a ban on reporting on the Anti-Corruption Foundation’s investigation into the party on Deripaska’s yacht involving the businessman Deripaska, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Prikhodko, and some call girls.

Roskomnadzor has announced that the information reported by the media contains “private photographs and video recordings with images, as well as other personal information, without the citizen’s direct or indirect consent, violating his rights to his image, the confidentiality of his personal data, and the inviolability of his private life.” Roskomnadzor also cites a decision of the Ust-Labinsk district court in Krasnodar region, dated 9 February. That is, a judicial decision was issued literally the day after the publication of Navalny’s investigation.

It should be noted that the Ust-Labinsk court (Vladimir Osipenko, acting chief judge) is Deripaska’s favorite court. The oligarch’s personal “Basmannaya” Themis. Ust-Labinsk, population 40,000, is Deripaska’s home turf. This is where he went to school and this is where his group of companies, Bazovy Element, now pays half of all taxes due to Krasnodar region.

Now for the second example. In 2016, Roskomnadzor forbade PARNAS [People’s Freedom Party] member Natalia Pelevina from removing from general access an NTV film that reported information about Pelevina’s private life and also included shots made with a hidden camera. Yes, these are the same bed shots of Pelevina and Kasyanov made by hidden cameras installed by unknown persons in Kasyanov’s private apartment.

At the time, Roskomnadzor called the information reported about Pelevina “socially important” and therefore legal to disseminate. “The public interest must include not just any interest manifested by audiences but, for example, society’s need to discover and reveal threats to the democratic state based on the rule of law and civil society, public safety, and the environment,” says the Roskomnadzor decision concerning Pelevina.

That is, according to Roskomnadzor, the bed scenes between Kasyanov and Pelevina threatened the democratic state based on the rule of law and public safety, but the sexual liaisons of Deripaska and Prikhodko with prostitutes hold no threat to the state or civil society, to say nothing of the environment.

That’s political prostitution for you.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

Yury Dmitriev: My Work Is To Restore Memory [Radio Svoboda]

posted 1 Feb 2018, 13:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Feb 2018, 11:01 ]

28 January 2018

An extract from an interview with Yury Dmitriev by Elizaveta Maetnaya

Photo of Yury Dmitriev by Roman Dementiev

"[…] In the SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] where I was held, everything strictly followed the regulations: a step to the left, a step to the right—means practically being shot on the spot. My rights were not violated inasmuch as I’m a pliant person. They give me a bunk and I lie down,” Yuri Dmitriev recounts. “But twice they ransacked my cell because I’d refused to shave my beard. Because according to the law, until you’re convicted you don’t have to, but they started pressuring me and I wouldn’t give in. Well, since I wouldn’t take their fatherly advice, shall we say, they turned everything we had upside down. But, you see, it’s too late to change my soul, even with prison. The fact that I’d read before about the people who’d done time in that prison, this experience helped me understand their worldview and their experiences: how they walked down these corridors, how they were kept in these cells, and what was done with them afterward—I know that, too. That’s probably wah I simply felt everything they felt more deeply. And I hope that one day this will pour out into a few lines not plucked from nowhere but coming out of what I have experienced personally. . . .”

“When you first arrived in Sandarmokh, what was there?”

“When we arrived there the first time, there was no Sandarmokh. When we realized that this was the place, believe me, there was no joy whatsoever because there were graves, graves, and more graves, all through the woods. You could picture the full depth of the tragedy. And then what? Then there was simple labor. We dug, and people from the Prosecutor's Office and FSB stood over us on all sides, but we kept digging, retrieving, and tallying. A dreary business. . . For the time being I can’t go to Sandarmokh or any other burial sites. I’m under travel restrictions and I’m not supposed to leave Petrozavodsk, I’m not supposed to violate anything. I’ve had time to think about all this because things remain undone and I’m drawn there (to the burial sites -- Radio Svoboda). I’ve already put together an approximate plan of what I’m going to do now — this year at least.

“I have to finish the manuscript I didn’t get to finish before my arrest. These are 126,000 people about whom our State unfortunately doesn’t want to know anything. Approximately 20 percent of these ‘specially resettled persons’ and ‘resettled working persons’ have descendants living in Karelia to whom I now want to give information about their great- and great-great-grandparents: where they came from, why they were sent here to us, and what happened to them here in the first years of their Karelian exile. If they died here, then where they’re buried, since apart from my work with documents I’ve also travelled around of Karelia and found all the cemeteries in the special settlements. I give the GPS coordinates and whether these settlements can be reached and how, so that each person who finds the strength within himself can visit the graves dear to him.”

“According to court statistics, 0.5 percent of people put on trial are acquitted. If this all follows a bad scenario and you’re convicted, who will carry on your work?”

“Holy places are never empty. People will come forward. No one has to be taken by the hand for this, explained or shown anything. If someone feels the need, if it grows inside him, he will find a way. As for the trial, I don’t engage in fortunetelling. In these instances, I always quote Varvara Brusilova, who in her final word at the Moscow tribunal that sentenced her to execution (she was twenty-two and had a babe in arms), said this: ‘I’m not asking for mercy or quarter. I will accept any decision you make with perfect calm because according to my religious beliefs there is no death.’ And here it’s the same thing. My family, relatives, friends and comrades believe in me — and thank God, the rest holds little interest for me. I know what this regime did before. If they want to go on doing the same thing, oh well—I am one of the characters in my Karelian Book of Memory. There were 14,500 and now there will be 14,501, that’s all.”

"When you were arrested, information went around that your unfinished book had been lost... "

" I have no comment on that for now, simply because I have not yet had the chance to sort everything out and figure out where things are. There was no time for anything; I didn't even have time to fix the light before you arrived."

"The year 1937 has been brought up lately, both with reason and without. Nowadays, people are put in prison for reposts, arrested for taking part in protests that have been officially permitted, and so on. How would you define our times?" 

"Our times are defined easily and simply. Open our current Constitution and try to abide by it from the first article to the last. If you go unnoticed, then it's not 1937. But if people say to you: Who cares what's written in there? What's that little book you've got there, anyway? Think for yourself." 

"While you were on remand, did people often talk to you about politics?" 

"Who in there can you talk about politics with? I had all different types of cellmates, but in the remand prison where I was, 70% of people grew up in orphanages, they're children from disadvantaged families with a sixth-grade education, or seventh-grade, at best. They received me normally. If anyone was interested in what I did, then yes, I would talk about what I know: both the history of the executions in Karelia and the fates of specific individuals. In prison with me was a descendant of one of my very oldest acquaintances, Arvar Myakel, from Kondopoga. I talked to him about his great-grandfather. Karelia is a small republic, with the population of a large village. Everyone has heard something about everyone else, even about another person’s relatives. I am a religious man, and I began to lay down conditions: guys, when I'm praying, and that's in the morning and evening, your cursing is unwelcome. "Or what?" they would ask. "God will fly down and give you a whipping!" – and at that everything settled down somehow, and it was quiet and peaceful. And then, lo and behold, others began searching for God, some more than others." 

"How do you feel about the fact that the Church is growing closer and closer to the government?" 

"Do you believe in God, or do you believe in the Church? God should be in the heart. Everything else was invented by people to make money." 

"What do you think, when will we stop fearing our past? Banning movies about it, rewriting history?" 

"All of our rights are written in the Constitution. When we reach a point when people are abiding by the Constitution, then we shall stop being afraid, most likely. Or maybe it will be the other way around: first we shall stop being afraid, and then we’ll start abiding by the Constitution, all of it – from top to bottom. After all, it's possible in other countries, so why don't we seek to achieve that in our own?" 

"While you were in the remand prison, did you lose a lot of weight?" 

"At first the weight really fell off, but then it stopped. The food, well, hmm, it's alright. Katiushka (Dmitriev's daughter – Radio Svoboda) brought me sausages, I would cut them up, and it made the food edible. Normal sausages," says Dmitriev.
For his birthday, friends and associates from different cities chipped in and bought Yury Dmitriev a new computer. The one he used to write his books had been seized during the search; he had nothing to work with anymore. On the desk are old black-and-white photographs, of his mother and father. "My father was a soldier, a mortar operator on the front line just outside Leningrad, and then he rose to colonel of the tank forces," Dmitriev says. Next to the photographs are quotes from Ehrenburg, whom Dmitriev considers to be the best writer of his time. "Maybe it's easy to live without memory, but such a life is hardly worthy of a human being. As difficult as memory may be at times, it is precisely what distinguishes humans from butterflies and culture from primitive existence" – reads the quotation displayed on his desk. 

Eight-year-old Sonya runs up to her grandfather, hugs him around the neck. “What a pretty girl,” his friends tell him.

“Whatever else, I know how to make grandchildren,” Dmitriev laughs. “Yes, I smoke I lot, only Belomor since I was fourteen. I did some research and learned who thought up that name. It turns out it was a collective effort. In 1934 the workers of Klara Tsetkin Factory went on an excursion along the Belomor [White Sea] Canal, and after a few months these cigarettes appeared—although I haven’t yet figured out who drew the design on the carton.”

He approaches the wardrobe, which holds mountains of various boxes and papers instead of clothing.

“I want to show you a map of the Karelian special settlements,” he says. He looks for a long time, but doesn’t find it. Instead, he gets out a small box with medals and shows it to us. “These are mine, and none of them are from the government but from those they now call foreign agents. And there are some from people who, by the very nature of their work, can’t stand me.

“From communists, for example: they definitely don’t like me, but they come to me and I help them, help them with reburying our soldiers whom I find in the Karelian forests, or with confirming the list of the dead from the Onega Flotilla. And this award is from, judging by the current cllimate, God knows what kind of enemy: the Union of the Officers of Ukraine gave it to me for returning several dozen names to them from oblivion. There’s a Polish medal, and back then we had very difficult relations with Poland, but I still gathered a lot of information about their citizens and gave it to them. All these awards are equally valuable to me. But do you know which of our awards I’d like to get? The medal “For Courage.” The others don’t count.”

“But is it true that you found your first skull when you were only a child?”

“Yes, I was eleven, we lived in Bobruisk then. I was playing soccer with the boys, it just happened they were digging up the ground for phone lines. And we came across human remains. We found a skull, started to kick it around. Played soccer with it until one of the grown-ups arrived and cursed us out. I remember that some old woman came, scooped them up into her scarf and carried them off somewhere. We were saying some kind of Baba Yaga had come… So I’m probably paying for sins like those to this day… We don’t get to be on earth just like that, we all have certain work that we should do. Right before my fiftieth birthday I sat here at the table and thought: you’ve lived fifty years, that means two-thirds are behind you, and what have you done? And I started looking back over my life bit by bit.

“And I understood: it was as if everything that happened in my life had led me to this work, the only things that continue to puzzle me are how fencing with rapiers and rowing in a canoe will be of any use to me. Everything else I’ve done in my life helped me, led me to this path. I started on it thirty years ago and understood only recently that that was the path I needed to be on. My work is to return memory. You see, everyone should have a grave. If we aren’t going to respect our own graves, the graves of our own kin, what kind of a people are we? None worthy of the name.”

More and more guests keep arriving at the house. “Now, what should I congratulate you on more—on your birthday or on getting out of the remand centre?” they ask.

“My birthday, of course!” Dmitriev doesn’t hesitate. “Any kind of prison has a sentence that ends sooner or later, it’s a temporary thing, you’ll either walk out yourself or you’ll leave legs first. But your next birthday might not arrive, it’s already the seventh decade. In our country, unfortunately, despite all the gimmickry of the Ministry of Health, men don’t live long. But they were constantly checking on me in the cell, examining everything. My blood pressure is 115 over 75, I could go into space tomorrow. So I’ll live a little longer. I’ll continue doing what I’ve been doing: bringing up my grandchildren, writing books.”

Translated by Julie Hersh, Marian Schwartz and Nina de Palma

Public statement on the case of Yury Dmitriev: “We will not allow them to destroy a citizen who has become a thorn in their side” [Novaya gazeta]

posted 29 Jan 2018, 08:29 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jan 2018, 09:34 ]

24 January 2018

Source: Novaya gazeta 

The case against the famous historian Yury Dmitriev has become one of the most high-profile criminal trials in modern-day Russian.

The Karelian law enforcement agencies were uncomfortable with the fact that Yury Dmitriev was a driving force behind the erection of memorials of international importance in memory of the victims of the Stalinist terror (Sandarmokh, Krasny Bor etc.) in order to restore the country’s historical memory, and so decided to level false accusations against him and put him in prison.

The approach of the Karelian authorities contradicts official policy on this matter, which is epitomised by the opening of a national memorial to the victims of political repression on 30 October 2017. The opening ceremony was attended by both the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.

The serious charges brought against Yury Dmitriev are based on reports by an anonymous informant and nine out of 150 or so photographs he had taken of his foster daughter (four in January 2009 when the girl was four years old, four in July 2010 when the girl was five years old, and one in January 2012 when the girl was seven years old).

All of the photographs were taken to monitor the girl’s health and physical development, and these nine photographs were taken in connection with specific health complaints. Yury Dmitriev did not take a single photograph from 2015 onwards, as the girl had grown stronger and healthier and there was no longer any need to do so.

These photographs were not published anywhere or shown to anyone, and were saved on Yury Dmitriev’s PC in a folder named “Natasha. Check-ups. Health”.

On the basis of these nine photographs, Yury Dmitriev was prosecuted under the most despicable articles of the Criminal Code; the crimes covered by these articles are punishable with up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

The unfoundedness of the absurd charges against Yury Dmitriev is proven not only by the conclusions of eleven highly qualified St Petersburg- and Moscow-based experts in various disciplines who were called as witnesses for the defence during the trial, but also by the conclusions contained in an additional comprehensive expert assessment carried out in St. Petersburg, ordered by the court at the request of the defence counsel and public prosecutor.

An independent and law-abiding court could make only one decision on the basis of all these investigations; to release Yury Dmitriev and to apologise to him for having detained him unlawfully for over a year.

Yet the very day after the outcomes of the expert assessment had been announced before the Petrozavodsk City Court (on 27 December 2017), Yury Dmitriev was flown to Moscow at short notice upon the instructions of the public prosecutor – to the Serbsky Federal Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology.

There can be only one explanation for the actions of the public prosecutor and the judges in connection with this case and the unusually high number of breaches of the law committed in connection with it: they wish to place Yury Dmitriev in prison at all costs or to find him mentally unwell and a hazard to society so that they can force him to undergo treatment or think up something else beyond the realm of reason and law in order to ensure that local law-enforcement structures are not held accountable for bringing unlawful criminal charges against Yury Dmitriyev. <...>

We call on society and the media to continue following the case of Yury Dmitriev closely, and to ensure that the authorities are not permitted to destroy a Russian citizen who has become a thorn in their side by working selflessly for over 30 years to preserve the memory of our innocent fellow citizens who perished during the mass repressions.

Liudmila Ulitskaya, writer, script writer and winner of many international prizes, holder of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (France); 
Vladimir Voinovich, writer; 
Dmitry Bykov, writer, journalist; 
Alisa Ganiyeva, writer; 
Marietta Chudakova, writer, historian, literary critic; 
Igor Guberman, writer; 
Inna Churikova, People’s Artist of the USSR, winner of state prizes; 
Liya Akhedzhakova, People’s Artist of Russia; 
Igor Yasulovich, People’s Artist of Russia; 
Evgeny Tsyganov, actor, winner of the Russian Federation Government Prize; 
Evgeny Stychkin, actor; 
Oksana Mysina, actress, director, radio presenter; 
Aleksandr Gelman, playwright, political writer; 
Vladimir Mirzoyev, theatre and film director; 
Yury Norshteyn, director and animator, People’s Artist of Russia; 
Viktoriya Ivleva, journalist, photographer; 
Aleksandr Arkhangelsky, journalist, literary critic, television presenter, member of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art; 
Nikolai Svanidze, historian, journalist, member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights; 
Sergei Krivenko, human rights activist, member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights; 
Anatoly Razumov, historian, head of the “Return of the Names” Centre; 
Andrei Zubov, historian, political analyst, doctor of historical sciences; 
Sergei Gandlevsky, poet, novelist, translator; 
Olga Sedakova, poet, novelist, translator; 
Veronika Dolina, singer, poet; 
Vladimir Martynov, composer, writer, philosopher; 
Vladimir Dashkevich, composer; 
Aleksandr Manotskov, composer; 
Vladimir Volkov, musician
Fr. Aleksei Uminsky, archpriest, theologian; 
Lev Rubinshtein, poet; 
Yuly Kim, poet, composer, playwright; 
Dmitry Vedenyapin, poet, novelist, translator; 
Tatyana Shcherbina, poet, translator; 
Tatyana Kaletskaya, script writer; 
Irina Yerisanova, director, journalist, head of the Pasternak House Museum; 
Dmitry Muratov, head of the editorial team of Novaya gazeta
Garri Bardin, director and animator; 
Sergei Lukashevsky, director of the Sakharov Centre; 
Pavel Lungin, film director, People’s Artist of Russia; 
Zoya Svetova, journalist, human rights activist. 

Translated by Joanne Reynolds

Aleksandr Cherkasov on the case of Oyub Titiev: "It’s reminiscent of the 1930s" [Radio Svoboda]

posted 29 Jan 2018, 05:51 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jan 2018, 08:09 ]

15 January 2018

An extract from 'Нужен ли Чечне "Мемориал"?' in which interviewer Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr discusses the arrest of Oyub Titiev, head of Memorial's office in Chechnya, with Aleksandr Cherkasov, chair of the board of Memorial Human Rights Centre. 

 Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Radio Svoboda]

Photo: Gogol.TV

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: [...] Aleksandr, how do you assess the situation that has arisen around Oyub Titiev?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: The situation is a force-majeur, to put it mildly. All our efforts have been thrown into restoring justice in this situation. According to our information, this case was crudely fabricated. This is revenge against Oyub Titiev for his human rights activity. And it is an attempt to get Memorial to cease its activities in Chechnya.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: How could Oyub Titiev have done the local republic authorities any harm?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: In the third week of December, the speaker of the Chechen parliament, Magomed Daudov (nicknamed “Lord”) - 
more or less the second most powerful man in Chechnya - spoke out in connection with the fact that Ramzan Kadyrov’s presence on the “Magnitsky list” had suddenly been made public, Instagram had shut down Kadyrov’s account, and so on. Daudov came down hard on those who were selling the Homeland for thirty pieces of silver — human rights activists and those who work in various foundations, think-tanks, and committees. He even went so far as to say, in essence, that he wished them dead. He said they were wrong to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty, if not for the moratorium we’d be saying “salaam alaikum” to everyone and that would be that. That was during the final working days of last year.

And on the morning of the first working day of the new year, Oyub Titiev was arrested and then supposedly they found narcotic substances on him. A threat and its execution. What for? Probably for everything good that Oyub Titiev had been doing all these past few years, ever since in 2010 he took charge of the Grozny office of the Memorial Human Rights Centre. […]

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: I have a list of several organizations that have spoken out in support of Oyub Titiev and vouched for him. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, Human Rights Watch, the International Human Rights Federation, and many others.

Aleksandr, should these high-profile human rights organization names have some influence on the Russian and Chechen authorities, so that they pay more attention to the “Oyub Titiev case”?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: Maybe this will have an effect on the Russian authorities. Because the “Oyub Titiev case” is a problem not only for him, not only for his family, friends, and colleagues, it is now a problem for Russia. It is a political problem. Someone who is widely known for their nonviolent activity and work has become a victim of a fabricated criminal case. And there has been a big response around the world.

You were talking about how human rights organizations have come out with a statement. But, you know, embassies, governments, and officials of various countries have also come out with diplomatic demarches. Natalia Estemirova was known more widely. It’s another matter that up to a certain point she was not a very public person. Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya shielded her and tried to keep her name from slipping out anywhere. Only after Politkovskaya’s death did Natasha Estemirova begin to write openly.

Oyub doesn't write, but he is widely known. If anything happens to him, then they are trying to do something terrible, not to an ordinary person but are trying to do something terrible to someone known widely beyond Russia’s borders. If the Russian authorities want to get yet another political prisoner on a drugs charge, go right ahead. That kind of “fame” is very useful.

I will remind you that this year we have the World Cup planned here, and various incidents of this type do not improve the country’s image. I would point out that there have been many conversations about whether or not we are worthy of holding this championship. Well, here is yet another weight on that side of the balance that no, better not. If anyone is concerned about Russia’s image, they should probably give it some thought. In this case, I’m speaking by no means about Chechnya's authorities but about the Kremlin and other inhabitants of Moscow. Do you need those kinds of problems? And they are only beginning.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: How does the story around Oyub Titiev characterize the human rights situation in the Chechen Republic?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: The situation is outrageous. But it is outrageous now due to the brazen effrontery we see as well. When people, who in the past were in the civil society sector but are now in local government structures, are commenting on this situation and saying they didn't know Memorial was operating in Grozny, this shows that either people are very afraid or else people have done a good job of forgetting something.

Indeed, it’s reminiscent of the 1930s. On the other hand, in the last years of its existence the Political Red Cross, headed up by Ekaterina Peshkova, which helped political prisoners in the GULAG [Main Prison Camp Directorate], was able to do almost nothing. The Political Red Cross was shut down in January 1938, at the height of the Great Terror. And this was probably a kind of sign, a kind of symptom.

We have been working in the Caucasus for a very long time and in rare instances have had the opportunity to help people locally. In some situations we are able to get justice in Strasbourg, at the European Court for Human Rights. It is cause for celebration every time we are able to restore someone’s rights, either in local courts or the Supreme Court, but without leaving Russian territory. Such celebrations are few. Right now we are absolutely not in a holiday mood because we are forced to defend our own, in essence, to defend ourselves instead of helping other people. But Oyub is our comrade, he’s one of us.

My friends, what has happened to him could happen to anyone. Drugs get planted not only in Chechnya. This affects each of us. Fabrication of a criminal case affects every activist. Defending Oyub Titiev is not a matter just of Memorial or human rights activists working in the Caucasus, it is a matter for everyone who is thinking about their own future and Russia’s future.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: Can we say that Memorial’s activities in the Chechen Republic are paralyzed now?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: Certainly. Right now we are occupied with just this one case. There is nothing more important. Because since Natasha Estemirova was killed we have already been functioning significantly worse and significantly less. People have stopped coming. “You can’t protect yourselves. How can you protect us?” Indeed, who are we if we can’t defend our own? . . . However, by defending Oyub, we are also defending the law in general, and not only in Chechnya. This affects each of us.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Snr: If this all ends well, might it be dangerous for Oyub to remain in the republic?

Aleksandr Cherkasov: Let’s first get to “well.” Let’s do everything for that “well,” and then we’ll say what we’re going to do when it ends well. For the present, we need help right here and now, and not in the future.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

BBC interview with Evgeny Shtorn: "Sociologist Flees Russia and Tells of FSB Attempt to Recruit Him" [BBC Russian Service]

posted 27 Jan 2018, 05:10 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jan 2018, 05:02 ]

19 January 2018

By Ilya Barabanov 

Source: BBC Russian Service  

Photo: BBC via Facebook

St. Petersburg sociologist Evgeny Shtorn has fled to Ireland and says that in Russia the security services tried to recruit him. According to him, the FSB [Federal Security Service] wanted information about the work of “foreign agents.”

On 18 January, Evgeny Shtorn, an associate at the Center for Independent Sociological Research (TsNSI) in St. Petersburg, reported that he had left Russia. “Representatives of the security structures attempted to take advantage of my position and wanted to use me, to make me into an informer,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Evgeny Shtorn told the BBC Russian Service what the security services had wanted from him and why he ended up in Dublin as a result.

BBC: Why did you decide to leave Russia, and why did this happen?

E.Sh.: It all began back in the summer of 2011, when I was moving my Mum to Russia. Before that, I’d been a citizen of Kazakhstan. In 2004, I was given Russian citizenship. At least, that’s what I thought. But in the summer of 2011, I was told by the Federal Migration Service that my passport had been issued improperly. The Kazakhstan consulate in Petersburg told me I was no longer a citizen of Kazakhstan. Based on my lack of Kazakhstan citizenship, Russia issued me a stateless citizen residence permit.

BBC: That is, for the last few years you didn’t have any passport?

E.Sh.: Yes, they’d annulled my Kazakhstan citizenship, and it turned out I had no Russian one. I decided to live for five years with this residence permit and then apply for citizenship in the usual way. When you’re living with a residence permit, you have to regularly report to the state bodies that you’re working somewhere and earning some basic income.

At the time, I got a job at the Center for Independent Sociological Research as a “public communications” specialist. For the past five years I’ve lived with this residence permit, but in that time, as we know, a lot has changed. A law was passed about foreign agents, and the TSNSI was deemed a foreign agent. In the summer of 2017, my case was reviewed by a commission and I submitted my documents for obtaining Russian citizenship.

The Center for Independent Sociological Research (TsNSI) is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in St. Petersburg. For more than twenty years, they have been conducting sociological research in Russia, developing scholarship programs, and collaborating with leading sociological research institutes—the RAN [Russian Academy of Sciences] Institute of Sociology, the Higher School of Economics, and the European University in St. Petersburg. In 2015, the Justice Ministry added the TsNSI to the list of “foreign agents” —organizations that receive financing from abroad and, in the authorities’ opinion, are engaged in political activity.

BBC: What are the distinctive features of this status — living under a residence permit?

E.Sh.: It comes with definite restrictions, although I worked quite a lot and began graduate studies at the Higher School of Economics. Although the document says that it certifies my identity, the Petersburg metro, for example, refused to issue me a student pass on its basis. This is a trivial example, but there were many like it. They even refused to give me a hotel room based on this document.

BBC: Were you eventually given citizenship?

E.Sh.: In November, after the waiting period on my application had expired, I was told I’d been refused citizenship because I’d supplied false information. What they considered false information was the fact that I hadn’t listed all the addresses where I’d lived during these years. I saw this as outrageous bureaucracy, got very upset, and fell into a deep depression. It was clear I was going to have to wait a year to apply for citizenship again, a year I was going to have to live with a residence permit.

And then, in December, on the 6th, I got a call from an ordinary mobile phone, and some person suggested I go over to the offices of the Federal Migration Service and discuss my application. To be honest, I thought they’d changed their minds or had changed certain quotas. A lawyer I know told me not to sign anything under any circumstances, but he advised me to go find out what was what. The next day, I arrived at this address, but it wasn’t the Federal Migration Service that met me at all.

BBC: What is there at that address?

E.Sh.: It was a police station. On the second floor there really was an office of the Federal Migration Service, but on the third floor there was an unmarked room. I was met by a man of about my age, and he led me into the office, where there was a portrait of Andropov hanging that I can still see in front of me. He introduced himself and the conversation began.

BBC: How did he introduce himself?

E.Sh.: I think he was a major. I remember his name, but I’m not sure I should say it. To be honest, I was upset when I saw an ID card stamped “FSB.” We discussed my situation a little, and altogether we talked for more than an hour and a half. His basic idea came down to the fact that they were very surprised I was working for a “foreign agent.” I explained that with my documents there wasn’t much of anywhere I could get a job, and I’d gotten the job at the TsNSI long before the law on foreign agents was passed.

The FSB agent was very interested in how the financing worked and whether agents of foreign security services or diplomats came to see us. I replied that I was a technical worker and didn’t meet with any diplomats. I told him what qualitative sociology was and how it differs from quantitative. He told me about Brzezinski and asked whether I’d read his book, The Grand Chessboard. I said, “No, I haven’t.”

He related its content to me briefly, saying that back in the mid-1990s, Brzezinski had written that in the mid-2000s Ukraine would become an agent of the West and that everything had happened just that way. That they wanted to bring us down, make Chechnya separate, make Karelia separate, and so on. The conversation was good-natured overall, although a few times he said in passing, you know there’s a law on espionage and there’s a law on state treason. But very gently, although it was totally baffling what state I could betray, since I was stateless citizen.

BBC: What happened after this conversation?

E. Sh.: I emerged in a state of shock. I got paranoid, afraid to talk on the phone. What’s more, he’d warned me that if I started talking about that meeting, there might be serious problems. He said: tell everyone I was at the Federal Migration Service, just discussing my application for citizenship. I spent some time thinking about what to do, but I hoped that they would leave me in peace, that I had convinced them I was small fry, and nothing depended on me. But the next day he called me again and said: you are such a nice person, let’s meet again.

BBC: After that you decided you had to leave?

E. Sh.: Even during the meeting, he’d said that I couldn’t leave the country using my documents. And I replied that therefore I wanted citizenship so I could travel. After his phone call I understood that they were going to exploit me and beat me up. Moreover, he already knew a great deal about my work, my trips around the country and my publications. He knew about my course at the Higher School of Economics, which was on the theme of “The murder of gays on the basis of court decisions”. In short, when he called I realised I had to do something. After that call I turned to several people.

One of the people who helped me was American human rights activist Jennifer Gaspar, who had a somewhat similar story. She had been deported from Russia in 2014. They didn’t give her citizenship either, her residence permit was revoked and she was forced to leave by a court decision. Citizens’ Watch and the Russian LGBT Network helped me. They took me to the Front Line Defenders organisation. They began to take action and tried to find out which states might issue me a visa. Among them were Germany, Lithuania, France and the USA. But all of them said very quickly that they could hardly put a visa in a residence permit.

BBC: Who agreed to take you in the end?

E.Sh.: A residence permit is a bit like a Russian passport, but green. However, the trouble is that not a single state really knows what you can do with this bit of paper, and whether in principle they would let me on an international flight with the passport as grounds. But Front Line Defenders somehow managed to persuade Ireland to issue me a visa. In December, the man from the FSB called me several more times, but I said I was ill. On 21 December they told me that the Irish had agreed, I should go to Moscow and there they would give me a visa and I would leave at once.

But 22 December was a short working day before Christmas, and they didn’t manage to issue me a visa. I went back to St Petersburg. They asked me for some more papers confirming that the airline would let me board, my friends called the border service to find out whether I could leave the country with the kind of documents I had. Russia said it would let me go, but would another country let me in?

On 4 January I got a visa anyway, and on 5 January there was a flight from Moscow via Munich. There are no direct flights to Dublin. At the airport the airline staff told me: “Oh, we can’t let you board with this kind of document, suppose you made it yourself, we need to confirm its validity.” They took me off the plane, but three hours later the Irish visa was confirmed by Lufthansa. I got a new ticket via Frankfurt, and went to cross the border, and again there was a call from the airline saying that Germany wasn’t prepared to take me, even into its transit zone. The airline staff tried to help every way possible, but next Sweden refused to take me. Then there was a flight via Chisinau, and I went to the Molodvans, and they said: “Well, if he has a genuine visa he’s not likely to remain in our country.” So I was able to fly to Dublin via Moldova.

BBC: What do you intend to do now? Have you requested political asylum in Ireland?

E.Sh.: I really don’t know, but I’m afraid I have no other option. I’m afraid that, now I’ve told my story, there’s no chance I could return without trouble. I don’t think that they’d convict me of spying in Russia, but they could easily cancel my residence permit, after which the same thing would happen to me that is now happening to Ali Feruz.

Obviously I would never have co-operated with them. I haven’t applied for asylum yet. In Ireland the asylum law is very bad, a very high percentage of applications fail. People who are waiting for asylum don’t have the right to work and wait for 20 months for a decision. Front Line Defenders have taken me in for three months, but what will happen next is entirely unclear. But I decided to make my story public, in order to warn everyone who works for NGOs that are foreign agents that they are in danger. If it was only my personal story, I’d probably have kept quiet.

The BBC Russian Service has addressed a request for information to the FSB.

Translated by Anna Bowles and Marian Schwartz

Oleg Orlov on the arrest Oyub Titiev [Radio Svoboda]

posted 25 Jan 2018, 11:00 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 Jan 2018, 11:01 ]

15 January 2018 

An extract from 'Нужен ли Чечне "Мемориал"?,' Radio Svoboda, 15 January 2018

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Radio Svoboda

[...] Vladimir Kara-Murza Sr.: Oleg Petrovich, how have Oyub Titiev’s activities annoyed the Chechen authorities?

Oleg Orlov: Any independent human rights organisation working in Chechnya will naturally be recording (it couldn’t not record) grave, wide-scale violations of, and I would even say a complete disregard for, people’s human rights. That’s why the Chechen authorities regard any independent, effective human rights organisation as an enemy that needs to be gotten rid of. Their basic principle for controlling the flow of information out of Chechnya is either good news or no news at all.

It’s even more dangerous for the Chechen authorities if there are people demonstrating that it is both possible and necessary to fight for one’s rights through the law, that it is possible and necessary to defend one’s honour, one’s dignity. This is also unacceptable to the Chechen authorities. They see it as another threat to the Chechen regime, and the republic has a totalitarian regime.

Think of the Soviet Union in 1937. When you go to the Chechen Republic, it seems to me that you find yourself in exactly the same kind of atmosphere that we know from people’s recollections, from documents and books pervaded the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Everything seems fine at first: people are walking around, the city is being been rebuilt, there are construction sites... On the surface, life is good. But underneath we can see fear, depression, people too afraid to talk about the real state of affairs in the republic, and also terrible social inequality, of course. All this is actually going on in a region of Russia. And the Chechen authorities are terrified that some truth or other might find its way out of the republic. They need to keep up the pretence that everything’s fine.

Imagine that an independent organisation had been around in the Soviet Union in 1937 that talked about truth, about the law, about the need to defend one’s rights. Imagine what would have happened to it. That’s exactly what we’re seeing now in Chechnya.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Sr.: But planting drugs on Oyub Titiev is a pretty crude way of cracking down on him, don’t you think?

Oleg Orlov: It’s not the first time that such a crude method has been used to crack down on people that the Chechen authorities find objectionable for some reason. Ruslan Kutaev, for example, despite Mr. Kadyrov’s disinclination to remember 23 February as the day of the Chechen people’s mass deportation... February 23 is a public holiday, Defender of the Fatherland Day, and nothing bad should be remembered on that day. “But we will remember on 10 May – the day of Akhmad Kadyrov’s funeral. This will be the day for us to remember all the tragedies that have ever befallen the Chechen people” – that is what Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov proposed to his people.

But there was one person who didn’t agree – Ruslan Kutaev. Despite the position taken by the Chechen authorities, Kutaev organised a conference dedicated to the deportation of the Chechen people that took place on 23 February 1944. And then exactly the same outrageous and crude fabrication took place. They didn’t even bother planting drugs on him, they just took him from his home and drove him to Grozny, where he was beaten by some senior Chechen officials and then taken to a basement to be tortured. Then a story was made up that some police officers had allegedly conducted a random search and found drugs on him, but it all fell apart in court. Petr Zaikin was Ruslan Kutaev’s defence lawyer, but nobody cares what happens in court or how the evidence is discredited. The court carries out the will of the authorities, and so he was convicted.

Then there was Zhalaudi Geriev, a journalist for the website Kavkazky uzel (“Caucasian Knot”). The website was repeatedly denounced by Ramzan Kadyrov as a voice hostile to the republic. Drugs were also crudely planted on Geriev. He was removed from a bus in front of witnesses as he was on his way to the airport to fly to a seminar outside Chechnya. Witnesses saw him get driven away, tortured, then taken to a cemetery. He was then seized there by other police officers, apparently having gone to the cemetery to find a secluded place to take drugs. What drugs?! He had a ticket in his pocket when they seized him, he was supposed to be catching a flight, but nobody is interested in all this evidence. The court just rolls over and does whatever the Chechen authorities tell it to.

And now this demonstrative and also shameless, to put it bluntly, fabrication of the criminal case against Oyub Titiev, considering they know how crude their actions are. This slapdash attitude to some pretence of law, even presenting some kind of evidence, is also a position that says: “That’s how we do things around here and we don’t care. You can say what you like, but we’ll do things our way regardless of the law.” […]

Translated by Nicky Brown

Stanislav Markelov: Patriotism as Diagnosis [Open Democracy]

posted 21 Jan 2018, 09:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Jan 2018, 09:43 ]

19 January 2018

By Stanislav Markelov

Open Democracy has marked the ninth anniversary of the murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova by republishing the last article Markelov wrote: "Patriotism as Diagnosis," firsr published in 2008. We republish the article here, with an introduction by openDemocracy, by kind permission. The text can be read in Russian here.

Nine years ago today, Russian activist lawyer Stanislav Markelov was shot dead in central Moscow. We republish the last article he wrote before his death.

January 2018 marks the ninth anniversary of the murder of Stanislav Markelov and activist journalist Anastasia Baburova. On 19 January 2009, as Markelov and Baburova walked through central Moscow, they were gunned down by Nikita Tikhonov, a Russian neo-Nazi.

This tragic murder sent shocks through human rights, media and activist communities in Russia, and later exposed the neo-Nazi terror cell run by Tikhonov and several others. As was revealed at trial, the group’s organiser Ilya Goryachev was using his connections to people inside Russia’s Presidential Administration and law enforcement to lobby for a new umbrella party that would preside over Russia neo-Nazis and extreme nationalists. Alexander Litoy writes about this trial (and how he wound up on one of Goryachev’s lists) in detail here.

Born in 1974, Markelov led an active life. He was involved in the Russian Social Democratic Party during the early 1990s, joined the Maximillian Voloshin brigade, a left-wing medics' group, during the events of October 1993 in Moscow, travelled to Ingushetia with Memorial as a human rights observer, and helped lead the radical left Russian Student Union in 1994-1995. In the late 1990s, he was involved in the Defenders of the Rainbow anarchist ecological movement, as well as writing extensively about the authoritarian surge in Belarus.

In the early 2000s, Markelov represented the interests of striking workers at a Vyborg paper mill, people illegally evicted from Moscow dormitories and activists from an independent railway union. In 2002, he defended the interests of Elza Kungayeva, who was murdered by corporal Yuri Budanov.

In 2006, Markelov founded and headed the Institute of the Rule of Law, where he focused on defending activists, journalists and others in high-profile legal proceedings, such as Anna Politkovskaya and Mikhail Beketov, who led the campaign for the defence of Khimki forest outside of Moscow.

Markelov's last article “Patriotism as diagnosis” remains, sadly, as relevant today as it was in 2008.


This country has got hooked on patriotism like a drug. Any politician, before lying, will swear by his patriotism. Any toady, before wheedling money from the authorities, will boast of his love for the state. Any thief licking his lips at the sight of his stolen goods will describe how he loves his country and how much more he would steal for the sake of this love.

Today in Russia it is impossible to occupy a senior position unless, bowing and scraping, you declare your patriotism. It’s impossible to become a politician (whether pro-government or pro-opposition) until you have licked the backside of the two-headed eagle and sworn your love to other imperial symbols.

Patriotism has become the state’s criteria of eligibility towards its citizens. If you aren’t a patriot, then you’re a pariah and the state’s repressive apparatus will soon do everything to choke the life out of you. Nowadays, people make nothing of it, but making your feelings public is thought of as bad taste, as is declaring your love for the whole country — almost like parading your underwear in the street, the traces of your last solitary passion still fresh. No-one gives it a second thought that, to all intents and purposes. [Read more]

Photo of Stanislav Markelov at the Siberian Social Forum, 2008. Photo CC BY-SA 3.0: Wiki Commons. Some rights reserved.

Mikhail Kaluzhsky: Arseny Roginsky - Giving Russia its history back [OpenDemocracy]

posted 20 Dec 2017, 11:44 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Dec 2017, 14:26 ]

20 December 2017

Source: OpenDemocracy [in Russian]

On 18 December, Arseny Roginsky, historian, dissident and one of the founders of Russia’s Memorial society, passed away. He will be sorely missed.

“For me, the archive (and I mean, of course, only literary and historical archives) is the natural continuation of the library. And unpublished archival documents are in no way different from published documents, you can treat them as accidentally unpublished or as-yet-unpublished. I believe it’s necessary to explain this now because I often meet people far from historical research who are sincerely convinced that archives always contain classified documents, or documents that might defame someone or something. And that’s why they only let chosen people into archives, people endowed with some ‘special trust’, and that that’s how it should be. This idea of what an archive is, is, of course, completely mistaken. Just as mistaken as an attempt to classify documents as more important or less important, more valuable or less valuable. Every document is important, every document is valuable as evidence of our past.”

This quotation is not from a lecture or an excerpt from a public discussion. It is Arseny Roginsky’s final statement (called “The status of a historian in the USSR) before a Soviet court, and he made it on 4 December 1981, after which Roginsky was sentenced to four years in prison. Formally, Roginsky was sentenced for “forging documents”, but in reality, for samizdat, his work on the underground historical journal Memory. [Read more]

Note by John Crowfoot: 

The account of Arseny Roginsky's trial in the "Chronicle of Current Events" is included in Issue 63, and is item 5 in the contents (immediately after a report on Anatoly Marchenko's last trial). The pdf file containing the full text can be found at this URL -

CCE 63 was not circulated in the USSR until March 1983, for reasons of size (230 typescript pages) and of the pressure the surviving editors were then facing. It was released in an English translation by Amnesty International in July 1983. Only one more issue of the Chronicle would be compiled (CCE 64, 30 June 1982) and it was not circulated until August 1983, or translated and published by Amnesty until February 1984.

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