Wednesday, 8 February

DAILY DIGEST, 8 FEBRUARY 2017

== Kara-Murza “poisoned by undefined substance” ==
A prominent Kremlin critic and Russian opposition figure who has been in a coma since last week has been diagnosed with “acute poisoning by an undefined substance”, his wife has said. Vladimir Kara-Murza, 35, who works for Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia foundation, had been in Russia to screen a documentary film about his friend Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader and former deputy prime minister who was gunned down near the Kremlin in 2015. [For more, see The Guardian, 8 February 2017]

== Alexei Navalny: Russian opposition leader found guilty of embezzlement ==
A court has handed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny a five year suspended prison sentence after finding him guilty of embezzlement in a retrial, barring him from running in the 2018 presidential election. Navalny’s lawyer Olga Mikhailova told journalists the conviction would prevent him from taking part in the election, which he registered for in November. [For more, see The Guardian, 8 February 2017]

== The Law On Domestic Violence Puts Women At Greater Risk ==
Amnesty International says a new law that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence in Russia poses a greater risk to women. On February 7, President Vladimir Putin signed the law that categorizes as administrative offenses — instead of criminal acts — cases of domestic violence that result in pain but not bodily harm. Supporters say the change is intended to prevent unwarranted interference by the state in domestic matters. [For more, see RFE/RL, 8 February 2017]

== Russia: Domestic violence law puts women at greater risk ==
After President Vladimir Putin signed a legal reform that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence, Anna Kirey, Deputy Director for Campaigns for Russia and Eurasia at Amnesty International, said: “While the Russian government claims this reform will ‘protect family values’, in reality it rides roughshod over women’s rights. It is a sickening attempt to further trivialize domestic violence, an issue the Russian government has long attempted to downplay.” […] “In the more than a decade since Amnesty International’s last report on rampant domestic violence in Russia, the authorities have failed to implement a single measure to enhance protection and services for the victims.” [More, see Amnesty International, 8 February 2017]

== Support for Death Penalty in Russia Plummets ==
The number of Russians who support the death penalty has plummeted by 24 percent over the past 15 years. Just 44 percent of Russians would like to see the return of the death penalty, compared in 68 percent in 2002, a survey by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed on Wednesday. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they would like to see Russia return to implementing capital punishment in a similar way as it had been used by in the 1990s, primarily for murder. That figure fell from 49 percent in 2002. [More, see The Moscow Times, 8 February 2017]

== Russia to publish “anti-Ukrainian Ukrainian newspaper” in occupied Crimea ==
The Russian media has widely reported plans to publish “the first Ukrainian-language newspaper in Crimea”. ‘First’ it is not, but it will be the only paper in Ukrainian since Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea. It may be used merely for propaganda purposes, however the ‘Ukrainian society’ supposedly behind the initiative was formed by the occupation government and has an openly anti-Kyiv position.  Zaur Smirnov, an official in the de facto Crimean government, announced on Feb 4 that the first issue of the newspaper would come out this month, with it probably being monthly at the beginning. [More, see Human Rights in Ukraine, 8 February 2017]

== Geriev’s defence plans to appeal against verdict ==
The defence of Zhalaudi Geriev, a correspondent of the “Caucasian Knot”, plans to file to the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic an appeal against his verdict, pronounced by the judicial board on criminal cases of the Supreme Court (SC) of Chechnya. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on December 28, 2016, the Chechen Supreme Court upheld the verdict to Zhalaudi Geriev, who on September 5, 2016, was sentenced by the Shali District Court to three years of imprisonment on the charge of possession of marijuana. [More, see Caucasian Knot, 7 February 2017]

== ECtHR obliges Russia to pay compensation to Islam Turpulkhanov for bad conditions of detention in penal colony ==
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has pronounced the decision concerning compensation in the amount of 10,750 euros to be paid to Islam Turpulkhanov for the bad conditions of detention at the penitentiary institution No. 22 of the Arkhangelsk Region. “In 2005, Islam Turpulkhanov was sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment in Chechnya. During three years, the complainant was kept in conditions humiliating his human dignity,” reports the “Legal Initiative for Russia”. In April 2006, Islam Turpulkhanov was transported to the penal colony to serve his sentence. [More, see Caucasian Knot, 7 February 2017]

== Russia fined for banning rally in memory of Markelov and Baburova ==
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has upheld the complaint filed by journalist Alexander Lashmankin and 22 other applicants and ordered Russia to pay them 183,550 euros for failures to sanction rallies. The mentioned rallies also include an unsanctioned rally in memory of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova. [More, see Caucasian Knot, 7 February 2017]

Tuesday, 7 February 2017 …

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