The Monthly Human Rights Report – February 9
February 9, 2018
Hello! It’s Open Russia’s human rights team here. In addition to providing support to people taking part in a nationwide boycott of the March presidential elections, we’ve also been assisting a number of deputies and defrauded investors. Here’s what you need to know about what we’ve been up to this month:
Human Rights Team Open Telegram Bot @ORpravobot and General Channel @ORpravo
Our new Telegram bot has a number of different functions: it provides fundamental information about the project and our contacts, as well as a “call for help” function. If you’d like to talk about your issues publicly then you can press the “public” button. The story will then be published on our open channel which is monitored by activists and journalists. If you haven’t yet downloaded Telegram, now’s the time.
Open Russia Lawyers Assist Over 80 Detainees During Nationwide Election Boycott
In Cheboksar, where the harshest detentions took place, our lawyers spent time in two separate police stations. Our team also provided courtroom assistance along with Anti-Corruption Fund lawyers to people who had been detained in Ufa, St. Petersburg and Moscow, including Alexey Navalny volunteer Konstantin Saltykov. Materials have now been submitted for review that implicate demonstrators in the use of force against police officers.
Journalist Pavel Nikulin Searched and Interrogated on Terrorism Charges
January 3, Moscow
The FSB confiscated all of Nikulin’s technical equipment and issues of the Moloko plus magazine that he publishes. The journalist was subsequently taken down to the police station where he was interrogated. The investigation was conducted on the basis of Russia’s infamous terrorism law, which was most likely used after Nikulin published an article entitled “From Kaluga with Jihad” in The New Times. With the help of our lawyer we managed to ensure article 51 of the constitution was respected: “No one shall be obliged to give incriminating evidence again himself, husband or wife and close relatives the range of whom is determined by the federal law.”
Court Begins Consideration of Prosecutor’s Office Case Against Yakimanka Deputies
February 1, Moscow
Deputies from the Yakimanka region decided to hold a referendum on important issues in their region such as new development projects and the re-location of a statue of Lenin. The Russian Prosecutor’s office was not happy and decided to take them to court, denying citizens the right to vote independently on local issues. Our lawyer Oksana Oparenko is representing their interests in court.
Police Detain Investors of Bankrupted Bank Who Turned Up At President’s Office
February 3, Kazan
The detained investors were released after giving explanations from the police station where our lawyer Elza Nisanbekova was. Nisanbekova filed complaints against the illegal detention and is now representing the interests of Dmitry Berdnikov, leader of the “Against Crime and Lawlessness” movement, in court. Only one protocol was used against him: for allegedly organising an unauthorised picket.