Riot police have seized Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, at a Moscow rally two days before Vladimir Putin’s inauguration.
He was carried away struggling through the crowd of demonstrators, who had gathered to protest at Mr Putin’s forthcoming fourth term in office.
The rallies in Moscow and Russia’s second city, St Petersburg, were not approved by the authorities.
At least 1,000 arrests were reportedly made at rallies across Russia.
Early on Sunday, Mr Navalny was released from police custody after being charged with organising a rally and resisting the police.
At the rally, protesters on Moscow’s Pushkin Square shouted slogans such as “Down with the tsar!” – “tsar” was the historical title of Russia’s pre-revolutionary emperors – and “Russia without Putin!”. In St Petersburg, Russia’s second city, they shouted “Jail the tsar!”.
Activists have been using a Russian hash tag on Twitter which translates as “He’s not our tsar”.
The Moscow Chamber of Attorneys has disbarred prominent lawyer Mark Feigin for allegedly unethical behavior.
The lawyer said he considers the April 24 decision to be politically motivated and plans to appeal against it.
The decision comes after lawyer Stalina Gurevich demanded that Feigin be deprived of his status for violating the norms of the lawyers’ code of ethics by using obscene vocabulary on social media against his colleagues and their clients.
Gurevich called allegations that the decision was politically-related “a lie.”
Feigin has defended the punk protest band Pussy Riot and Nadia Savchenko, the Ukrainian airwoman who spent nearly two years in Russian captivity, in politically sensitive cases.
He is also defending Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is on trial in Moscow on espionage charges.
According to the human rights activist, law enforcers have not yet withdrawn the video footage from the cameras in the Kurchaloy District Office of Internal Affairs, which he requested on January 12.
Pyotr Zaikin, the lawyer of Oyub Titiev, the head of the Chechen branch of Memorial, filed a complaint about the inaction of the investigators in the Shalinsky Town Court of Chechnya. According to the lawyer, the police have not yet withdrawn the records from the cameras in the Kurchaloy District Office of Internal Affairs, which Zaikin requested on January 12. This is reported in Memorial’s Telegram-channel.
According to the lawyer’s suggestion, the recording from the CCTV cameras of January 9 should have the moment of delivery of Titiev to the Office, as well as everything the policemen did with his car. The head of the Chechen Memorial, we will remind, insists that drugs were planted into his car.
Zaikin noted that he has not yet received a response to his request for the withdrawal of these records.
It is to be recalled that Titiev was detained in Chechnya on 9 January. He is charged with possession of drugs. According to the investigation, the policemen found a bag containing almost 200 grams of marijuana in the course of examining the car of the human rights activist. At the moment, Titiev is under arrest. Ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova appealed to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a request to transfer the investigation to the federal level. In turn, Head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov called such a call an attempt to exert pressure on the investigation.
On 30 January 2018, three unidentified, masked men physically attacked environmental rights defender Valentin Karelin in the vicinity of “Krylatskoe” metro station in Moscow.
On 30 January 2018, three unidentified men physically attacked environmental rights lawyer, Valentin Karelin, in the vicinity of “Krylatskoe” metro station in Moscow. He was attacked from behind, pushed to the ground and severely kicked in the head until a passerby intervened and attempted to pull the assailants off the defender. When the assailants fled the scene, the defender immediately called the police and reported the incident. The police opened a criminal investigation under Point “a” of Part 2 of Article 115 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on deliberate attempts to inflict physical harm. Valentin Karelin sustained fractures to his head, the zygomatic bone, the nose, a paraorbital hematoma, concussion and other injuries.
This is the latest in a series of five recent attacks against human rights defenders in the Russian Federation.
Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people live free of violence, discrimination, and oppression.
Ivan Pavlov is a human rights lawyer and activist in Russia, defending those wrongly accused by security services of disclosing state secrets, high treason, and espionage. He is also well-known for his tireless efforts to ensure public access to government information and to provide guidance to activists threatened by the state. Pavlov has persevered against overwhelming odds, including intrusive government surveillance, harassment by security officials, and work-related threats of violence. He has taken on numerous high-profile cases, saving many clients from long jail sentences and political repression.
In 2004, Pavlov founded the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) – with the aim of monitoring public access to socially significant information and pressuring key state institutions to make information related to their activities available online. In 2014, the Russian government designated IDFI a “foreign agent” under the 2012 repressive law, which demonizes foreign-funded advocacy groups as foreign agents. Undeterred, Pavlov continued his work by forming Team 29, an informal association of human rights lawyers. Team 29 provides free consultations and legal aid to individuals asserting their right to receive and distribute information, defends victims abused by law enforcement and security agencies, and publishes user-friendly advice for activists and others who face harassment, arrest, searches, interrogation, and recruitment attempts by security officials.
Oyub Titiev, the head of the Chechen branch of Memorial, a Russian human rights center, was not brought to the Supreme Court session that was to consider the lawyers’ objection to his arrest, Titiev’s lawyer Petr Zaikin told Mediazona.
The Human Rights Center posted on Telegram that another Titiev’s lawyer did not show up in court either. Zaikin said that last time he had talked to him was the day before, when the missing lawyer was going to the Investigative Committee. He has not been returning calls since then and Zaikin says he has no idea where the other lawyer might be.
Due to the fact that Titiev was not present at the session, the Supreme Court postponed it until 17:00, and Zaikin headed to the Kurchaloyevsky Internal Affairs Office, hoping to find his client there. He was told that Titiev was not there, and that an investigative procedure was scheduled for 16:00, of which Zaikin had not been notified. The lawyer called the investigator, who said he had canceled the investigative procedure, and did not know where Titiev was.
The human rights activist was detained in Chechnya on 9 January. The police found a plastic bag with marijuana in his car. Two days later, Shali city court detained Titiev for two months on charges of Drug Possession (part 2 of Art. 228 of the Criminal Code). Titiev denies any wrongdoing and insists that the police had planted the drugs on him during the search.