Posts Tagged ‘Open Russia’

In Russia first criminal case under “undesirable organizations” law

January 22, 2019

he Russian authorities have for the first time used the repressive “undesirable organizations” law to open a criminal case against human rights defender Anastasia Shevchenko, exposing her to the risk of a six-year prison term. Until now, violations of this law were punished under administrative law.

This morning Anastasia Shevchenko, a Coordinator with the Otkrytaya Rossiya (Open Russia) movement, was charged with “repeated participation in the activities of an undesirable organization.”  “In recent years, the Russian authorities have progressively suffocated and criminalized dissent. The Open Russia movement has become the latest victim of this crackdown,” said Marie Struthers, Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at AI.

It’s clear that the authorities are expanding their toolkit for imprisoning human rights defenders and activists, so if applied broadly this practice will have far-reaching implications for the right to freedom of expression.”In recent days, police have opened criminal investigations, conducted searches and arrests of Open Russia’s activists across the country. [see also my older post: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/05/21/russia-human-rights-ngos-likely-to-become-officially-undesirable/]

Background:  On 17 January, Open Russia Coordinator in Pskov Liya Milushkina and her husband Artyom Milushkin were arrested and accused of selling drugs, an offense punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Artyom, who is also a political activist, previously reported that police officers threatened to plant drugs on him during his recent arrest in November. Amnesty International has interviewed several associates of the Milushkins all of whom are adamant that the criminal case against the couple is fabricated. Amnesty International has documented a number of cases in which activists in Russia have been prosecuted on trumped-up drug charges, including human rights defender Oyub Titiev who is currently standing trial in Chechnya. On 18 January, police filed a case against Open Russia Coordinator in Krasnodar Yana Antonova for posting a video about the shortage of schools in the region. She was charged with “participation in the activities of an undesirable organization”, an administrative offence when “committed” for the first time.

see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/03/18/fidh-collected-russias-50-anti-democracy-laws/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/01/russia-the-first-criminal-case-under-the-undesirable-organizations-law-marks-a-new-level-of-repression/

Greek OXI Day honors Russian and Chinese defenders

October 26, 2018

On 25 October the laureates of the 2018 OXI Day awards were honored at the US Institute of Peace. The award with the quirky name recalls the Greek Oxi Day, (pronounced OH-hee). OXI means “no!”, NO to invading Axis forces during World War II.”. For more information see: http://trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards/oxi-day-courage-awards.and https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2015/10/29/today-was-oxi-day-in-greece-worth-an-award-or-two/.

Vladimir Kara-Murzis Vice President of Open Russia and leading activist for a civil society and democracy in Russia, Kara-Murza has been poisoned twice by his enemies and survived against all odds. He was elected to the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition in 2012, and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party from 2015 to 2016. The author of two documentaries, They Chose Freedom and Nemtsov, Kara-Murza started his career as a journalist. He currently acts as Senior Fellow to the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights and recently served as a pall bearer at Senator John McCain’s funeral.

Liu Xia is the widow of China’s Nobel Laureate, Liu Xiabo. Liu Xia was recently freed in July 2018 after serving 8 years of confinement on house arrest despite having no charges leveled against her. She is a Chinese painter, poet and photographer. [

“These are exemplary stories of the modern day David vs Goliath,” said Andy Manatos, Founder and President of the Oxi Day Foundation. “Our honorees are heroes who stood up to crimes against humanity and through their tireless efforts, they shone a spotlight on injustices. Historically, the Oxi Courage Awards event has brought to light the brave actions of these valiant revolutionaries before they are recognized by an even larger audience.”

https://hellenicnews.com/global-freedom-fighters-and-advocates-for-human-rights-honored-at-8th-annual-oxi-courage-awards/