Review of violations of the right to freedom of assembly and the right to freedom of associations in July 2016
In July, the following NGOs were entered in the register of "foreign agents":
On July 19, judge of the Moscow City Court Anna Seliverstova cancelled the decision of the Presnenskiy district court of Moscow and seized the administrative case against "GIOLOS" (“Voice”) Association.
On July 4, prosecution officers, employees of the Ministry of Justice, and those of Interior Ministry checked an office of “Yabloko” party without any notice. The party people suggest that the check was held in connection with the upcoming elections.
Three members of the Samara branch of PARNAS were summoned for questioning by the police. Andrei Balin, a co-chairman of the Samara branch of PARNAS is summoned for questioning to the regional Investigative Committee on July 14.
On July 18, Yoshkar-Ola city court examined the case on an administrative offense committed according to regional Roskomnadzor officials, by the interregional public organization "Person and Law". The reason for the administrative prosecution of the oldest human rights organization in Mariy El was the three entries of Sergey Poduzov, a co-chairman of "Person and Law" in his personal blog on "7x7". The fine equals 150 000 rubles.
The Ministry of Justice seized the case of "Public Verdict" Fund concerning failure to submit a report. "Ministry of Justice officials told the human rights activists that after the judge of judicial district № 423 of Tver district of Moscow returned the administrative offense report back to the Ministry of Justice, and the fund re-sent the report documents into the Ministry of Justice, the case concerning “Public Verdict” will not be sent to the court", – says the fund’s message.
The Arbitration Court of Nizhny Novgorod Region completed bankruptcy proceedings in respect of the human rights organization "Committee against Torture". Thus, the court granted the request of the bankruptcy trustee, who said that a debt in the amount of 640 thousand rubles is established and included into the second stage of the register of the creditors' claims, 900 thousand rubles in the third, and the total equals 1.5 million rubles.
The regional department of the Ministry of Justice completed the verification of Saratov Regional Union of Soldiers' Mothers and ordered to eliminate the revealed violations before January 2017. According to the calculations of Lidiya Sviridova, the head of the regional department, to eliminate the detected deficiencies will cost about 300 thousand rubles, which is equivalent to a fine.
Presnenskiy court of Moscow ruled to liquidate the non-profit association "GOLOS" (“Voice”) for serious violations of the law on NGOs. "To satisfy the administrative complaint of the Ministry of Justice in full", – says the decision of the court. It emphasizes that "GOLOS" association will be liquidated and excluded from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.
Orenburg regional court dismissed two complaints of representatives of the interregional public organization "Committee for Prevention of Torture" on the court decisions imposing fines to the organization and its former chairperson.
Activists detained, at least — 22
Administrative cases — 3
Restriction or deprivation of freedom — 7 days
Fine — 10 000 rubles
On July 1, the participants of the movement "Queuers of Moscow", who decided to start a hunger strike near the reception of the party “Yedinaya Rissiya” ("United Russia") in Moscow were filed administrative reports under the article on violation of the order of a demonstration. On July 4, at the continuation of the campaign "Hunger strike on legs," a participant of the hunger strike in a swoon was brutally arrested.
Alexandra Naumova (Dukhanina) convicted on "Bolotnaya case" was set free of the conviction and the suspended sentence. This was done six months earlier than the punishment would end. This became possible, since she had served most of the suspended sentence.
On 4 July, Moscow's Tverskoy court found another musician, Ivan Kharkovskiy, guilty of "organizing mass simultaneous holding and (or) movement of citizens in public places" and sentenced to a fine of 10 thousand rubles.
European Court of Human Rights communicated the complaints of 15 persons detained at public events in Moscow on 21 February and 30 December 2014. On February 21, at Zamoskvoretskiy court there were about 200 people detained who came to support the prisoners of “Bolotnaya case” – on that day announcing of the decision on the "case of eight” began. Among the detained were ten people, who later filed a complaint to the ECHR, including Pavel Bardin, brothers Dmitry and Alexey Karelskiy, Sergei Parkhomenko. Mikhail Kriger, Lev Ponomarev and other three applicants happened to be on 30 December in Manezhnaya Square among 255 people arrested for gathering in support of Alexei and Oleg Navalny convicted in the "Yves Rocher case"».
On July 5, FSB officers were to “Ekho Moskvy” ("Echo of Moscow") because of a criminal investigation into the fact of the online radio’s webpage publishing Andrei Piontkovsky’s article allegedly calling for violation of territorial integrity of Russia and inciting hatred and enmity on the grounds of nationality.
Tagansky Court of Moscow ordered to pay compensation for moral damages to four base-jumpers who were accused of painting the star on a Stalinist skyscraper but were acquitted. Each of them will receive about 90 thousand rubles.
Four participants of “daching" held on 3 August 2014 by the Fund to combat corruption (FBK), made a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). On that day, the activists with a bus and several cars went to the village Akulinino where, in particular, Sergey Chemezov, the general director of "Rostekh", and Vladimir Yakunin, a former president of Russian Railways, live. At the entrance to the protected area they were beaten by unknown persons. In total, 11 people with injuries contacted the police, but the police six times refused to initiate criminal proceedings. The Investigative Committee did not respond to appeals either, and the Court took the side of the officials. As a result, the attacks have not yet been investigated, despite the presence of video recordings.
On July 8< the founder and head of "Human Rights Council", well-known civil activist Temur Kobalia was detained by bailiffs in Volgograd international airport. More than a dozen people met Temur with cameras and video cameras to learn about the existing debt on the fine payment of ANO "Youth center of consulting and training" headed by Kobalia. Later Temur was released.
Organizers of the traditional Moscow RAW-Fest to be held on 9-10 July announced its cancellation due to the pressure by the authorities. "We spent a long day in the company of law enforcement officers. We have heard many reasons why the festival will not take place. The authorities promise problems to you and us in any place, wherever we move the whole thing. There are unfortunately no alternative solutions, beside cancellation" – says the official event page in "VKontakte".
Sergey Krivov convicted in the case of riots on Bolotnaya Square on 6 May 2012 was released from prison, says activist Maria Arkhipova.
On 17 July, a resident of St. Petersburg gave a single action in Malaya Sadovaya street to protest against an anti-terrorist and anti-extremist law package of the State Duma deputy Irina Yarovaya. The picket was interrupted by the police and its organizer and only participant was detained and taken to the police station.
Constitutional Court allowed protesters to stick up the mouth with sticky tape, to make drawings or put stickers on the face. The court considered such methods a way of expressing views of demonstration participants. At the same time, the Court reminded that the use of masks, balaclavas or objects deliberately hiding the face during pickets is against the law and causes administrative responsibility.
Vasiliy Nedopekin, an active participant of Moscow protests was detained by police in his flat on July 26. Around 9:30 am, he was awakened by the local police officer who said that Nedopekin had been put on prophylactic register and shall immediately come to the police station. After Nedopekin refused, a police squad came after him. In the police, the activist was offered to "cooperate", and when he refused, he was said that in this case "there will be a different story." He was asked many questions, including which party he members and which football club he supports. Then he was showed a printout of protocols under Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code (violation of the rules of holding a public event) and he was threatened with opening a criminal case against him on "repeated" violation – Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code, the maximum penalty is five years of imprisonment. Meanwhile, the number of convicting judicial decisions against Nedopekin under Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code which entered into force in the last six months is, perhaps, less than the three required for initiation of criminal proceedings.
Crimea State Council called on "the international community" not to finance Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars whose activity is banned in Russia. The statement of the Crimea State Council says that members of the organization are responsible of "systematic extremist actions" and create armed forces on the border with the Russian Federation. In Mejlis, this statement was called an "empty document" that will become "the basis for prosecution of the organization’s activists."
In early July, Nikolay Solodnikov, the curator of "Open Library" project where Mayakovsky library in St. Petersburg held monthly "Dialogues", left Russia. "As soon as my status becomes known and the condition of the case that the department against terrorism leads, at this point I'm ready to go back. But not in order to go to prison," – said Solodnikov.
There is a criminal case initiated against Svetlana Sinkova, a publicist from Usolye-Sibirskoye in Irkutsk region, under article 205.2 of the Criminal Code ("public calls for terrorism or its public justification"). In July she escaped the country and went to Finland.
Vladimir Ionov, a 76-year-old Russian political activist was granted asylum in Ukraine. In December 2015, Vladimir left Moscow and moved to Ukraine in connection with a criminal case initiated against him. In January 2016 he applied for refugee status in Kiev.