Alexander Byvshev is facing another prosecution under Russia’s ‘anti-extremism’ legislation over a poem entitled ‘On Ukraine’s Independence’. A search was carried out on Jan 17 of the 44-year-old poet’s home in Kromy, the Oryol oblast, with his computer, memory drives, etc. taken away. Byvshev was taken to the Investigative Committee for questioning, with the next interrogation scheduled for Jan 20. He says that the search was carried out by officials from Russia’s ‘centre for countering extremism’ who kept asking if he was planning to emigrate together with his elderly parents who are in ill health.
Environmental Right Centre Bellona (ERC Bellona) is one of the most prominent NGOs in Russia working on nuclear safety and pollution challenges in the northern regions. With offices in both Murmansk and St. Petersburg, the organization has since the mid 1990ies helped targeting international funding to dismantle Cold War submarines and secure radioactive waste in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions.
Russia’s Justice Ministry has added another prominent NGO to the federal government’s list of “foreign agents.” According to an official announcement on the ministry’s website, the SOVA Center, a think tank that conducts sociological research primarily on nationalism, xenophobia, and racism in Russia, is the latest organization to be blacklisted.
On 16 December 2016, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow dismissed an appeal of the International Historical and Human Rights Society (IHHRS) ‘Memorial’ against the Ministry of Justice’s decision to register the human rights organisation as ‘a foreign agent’. The Court of the first instance found the decision of the Ministry of Justice to have been lawful.
Lilia Shibanova, the founder of the Russian election observation network "Association GOLOS" and a board member of the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE) is currently being prevented from leaving the Russian Federation. While entering the Russian Federation in November 2016, she was a subject of a strict border control. The passport of Lilia Shibanova was apparently invalidated.