Newsletters / Weekly Human Rights Report

Hello everyone and a big thank you to you all! You helped us to gather enough funds to help the Tomsk pensioners, who were being hounded by the authorities for daring to speak out about corruption publicly.

Many of our cases are still ongoing and have not yet come to and end, but check out what we’ve been up to this week. Remember, the Human Rights Team runs exclusively on donations, so if you’d like to get involved in helping people facing political repression in Russia, you can make a donation here.

Investigation Dropped of Man Accused of Attacking a Police Officer During Anti-Corruption Demo

August 7. Moscow

Our lawyer Kaloy Akhilgov reports that some charges have been dropped from the case against Rasim Iskakov. Rasim Iskakov was accused of attacking a National Guard officer at an anti-corruption demonstration on June 12. This is already a good victory!

The investigation into Rasim Iskakov has now come to an end. He was one of the participants of the anti-corruption demonstration on June 12 who was accused of attacking National Guard officers. The case will be sent to the prosecutor’s office on Friday, August 11. Our lawyer, Kaloy Akhilgov, is representing Iskakov’s interests at court.

According to Akhilgov, the defence managed to convince the prosecutor’s office that on June 12 in Moscow, Iskakov did not commit any offences that could be considered as hooliganism. He added that the charge for attacking a government representative was excluded from the case.

Initially, the investigation accused Iskakov of three cases of the use of violence which endangered the life and health of OMON fighters. For two of those he pleaded guilty.

The lawyer stated that the defence team managed to prove that one of the charges had nothing to do with Iskakov. When Akhilgov began working on the case, Iskakov had already pleaded guilty, and so the two charges remained, although the rest were dropped.

Rasim Iskakov was arrested on June 30 after a decision made by the Moscow Basmanny Court. He became the second participant of the June 12 anti-corruption demonstration who was held responsible for attacking a law enforcement officer. Earlier, 17-year-old Mikhail Galyashkin was detained under house arrest on suspicion of spraying pepper gas in the face of a riot policeman.

“Artpodgotovka” Activist Has Arrest Extended

August 8. Moscow

A court has ruled that Alexei Politkov, who was charged for using violence against a policeman at an anti-corruption demonstration on March 26, will remain under house arrest until October 8. He is currently being represented by Open Russia lawyer Sergei Badamshin.

A court has ruled that Alexei Politikov will remain in detention until October 8.

The Moscow Basmanny Court prolonged the arrest of Alexei Politikov, who was charged for using violence against a policeman at an anti-corruption demonstration on March 26. He will be held in custody until October 8. The investigation believes that Politikov used violence against a captain of the police force, Shvetsov, during the demonstration. The “Artpodgotovka” activist are being represented by our lawyer, Sergey Badamshin.

Politkov was detained on the evening of June 10 during a search at the house of Vyacheslav Maltsev in the suburbs of Lokhino. The next day, the court arrested Politikov and held him in custody for two months.

Court Extends House Arrest for Underage Anti-Corruption Demonstrator

August 11. Moscow

Mikhail Galyashkin, who was accused of assaulting a policeman during a demonstration on June 12, has had his house arrest prolonged for another month until September 13. However, on a positive note, this is a month less than the investigative committee had requested. Open Russia’s Sergei Badamshin is working in Mikhail’s defence.

The Moscow Basmanny District Court has partially granted the request of the investigator Alexei Severilov, thus extending the house arrest of 17-year-old Mikhail Galyashkin, who was accused of assaulting a policeman during a demonstration on June 12. The house arrest will last until September 13. Open Russia lawyer Sergey Badamshin is defending Mikhail in court.

At the hearing, investigator Severilov said that the investigation was to be pro-longed until October 12, while the arrest of the accused expires on August 15. Badamshin asked not to fulfil the solicitation of the investigation and to release his client under a written agreement. However, after a short break, Judge Elena Lenskaya extended the house arrest until September 15, a month less than the investigative committee requested.

Mikhail Galyashkin was detained during an anti-corruption demonstration on Tverskaya Street on June 12. He was later charged with attacking a National Guard officer. According to the investigation, he sprayed pepper spray in an officer’s face, which caused burning in his eyes and inflicted physical pain. According to the conditions of the arrest, Galyashkin is forbidden to: go beyond his house except to educational institutions, communicate with outsiders except with the defence and close relatives, he is also forbidden from using the Internet and mail.

40,000 Ruble Target Reached for Tomsk Pensioners!

Thank you everyone! From all the donations we received received, 30 thousand will be spent on covering all fines issued to the pensioners, and a further 10 thousand for the lawyer who was representing them. Their treacherous crime was that they had filmed a video address to Putin in which they raised the topic of corruption in the police. The message was recorded near the administration building, which the police had considered to be an ‘unauthorised event’.

To some this may seem trivial, but in reality it is very important. 58 people donated their money to some women from Tomsk who they didn’t know and managed to help them in a time of need. We can all celebrate this little victory together and be proud of what we did ourselves by coming together for the benefit of others.

Some may think that it makes no difference as to where the money comes as long as the result is still the same. However, this logic implies that we could start sending someone for 500 rubles to demonstrations with instead of taking part ourselves. Some may argue that is doesn’t matter who is there as long as the job gets done.

However, we believe that there are things in which the process is as important as the result and we have just taken part in one of them. So many thanks to all who transferred money and who liked our posts to promote awareness to as many people as possible. The money is already in Tomsk and soon you will hopefully receive greetings from the pensioners themselves.

For those who haven’t yet donated we ask you kindly to please consider doing so! Unfortunately, the Human Rights Team is constantly in need of funds in order to operate.

Father of Trucker Activist Sentenced for Burning Car

August 11. St. Petersburg

The father of activist Alexander Barinov, a regular demonstrator for the rights of long-distance truck drivers, has been sentenced to a year of restricted liberty, but escapes jail time.

Today we have not one but TWO success stories!

The father of Alexander Barinov, who was part of a truck driver support group, was the owner of a shabby old Russian car. The car suddenly disappeared and so the father responsibly reported the theft to the police. Not long afterwards, the car was discovered burning at 8 in the morning in St. Petersburg and a criminal case was brought against him.

While the case was still in progress, the law enforcers decided to kill two birds with one stone. They went to the father’s house with a search warrant and they found old ammunition and a firearm, which resulted in the opening of a new case. It all looked quite threatening at first, and for the father (who has little to do with any kind of activism), even more so. Despite this, we were able to bring about some success in court. With our help, Mikhail (Barinov’s father), was spared a fine and jail time, and was instead sentenced to a year of restricted liberties.

Regardless of the debate about whether firearms should or should not be illegal, there is an important outcome to this – a 59-year-old man did not go to jail. This is why we stress that it is important to address lawyers immediately and not only after the verdict. Alexey Sokolov, the lawyer on the case, has done a great job!