Thursday, 1 June

<< Daily Digests — June 2017 >>

= Navalny Denied Permission For Central Moscow Rally =
Moscow authorities have rejected opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s request to hold an anticorruption march and rally in the heart of Moscow on 12 June. City security department chief Vladimir Chernikov said on May 31 that instead of Tverskaya and Okhotny Ryad, major streets near the Kremlin, the mayor’s office is proposing that Navalny hold the demonstration at one of two locations further from the city center. (For more, see RFE/RL, 1 June 2017)

Chechen Prosecutor Wants Charlie Hebdo Blocked
A prosecutor in Chechnya has asked a court to block websites that carrying content from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which recently posted a lewd comic strip taking aim at the Russian region’s Kremlin-backed leader over allegations of a campaign of abuse against gay men. The regional prosecutor’s office said on May 31 that the prosecutor in Chechnya’s Shali district filed a request asking a court in the capital, Grozny, to restrict access to content in Charlie Hebdo that “aims to insult the religious sentiments of believers” and could incite hatred. (For more, see RFE/RL, 1 June 2017)

32% of Russians Support Physical Punishment for Teens — Poll
Almost a third of Russians believe that parents should have the right to beat their teenage children. Some 32 percent of Russians think that parents should be able to physically punish children aged between 13 and 14 years old, a new survey by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed. A majority of respondents, 54 percent, said parents had the right to monitor teenagers’ correspondence. While 47 percent said that adults should be able to limit children’s contact with friends. (For more, see The Moscow Times, 1 June 2017)

Verdict In Ukrainian Library Director’s Hate-Crime Trial Postponed
A Moscow court has postponed the verdict in the trial of Natalya Sharina, a librarian who is charged with inciting hatred in a case that is steeped in the confrontation between Moscow and Kyiv and has been denounced by rights activists. Meshchansky District Court spokeswoman Yulia Bocharova said the judge will pronounce the verdict and sentence on June 5 instead of June 1. No reason was given. (For more, see RFE/RL, 1 June 2017)

Russia begins trial of Tatar leader Umerov by removing his defence lawyer
Forty years after virtually all members of the newly-formed Ukrainian Helsinki Group were jailed for demanding only that the USSR honour its international commitments, a second Ukrainian has gone on trial in Russian-occupied Crimea for demanding that Russia do the same. Crimean Tatar Mejlis leader Ilmi Umerov is facing a five-year sentence for saying that Russia should leave Crimea and Donbas, with the preliminary hearing as parody-like as one would expect under such circumstances. All four applications from the defence were rejected. If it was predictable that the request, backed by compelling grounds, to terminate the trial itself would be ignored, there was just a chance with respect to one absurdity. The defence asked that the court reject as inadmissible ‘evidence’ an empty protocol from an unlawful attempt to interrogate Umerov’s lawyer Nikolai Polozov as a ‘witness’. (For more, see Human Rights in Ukraine, 1 June 2017)

Volunteer at Navalny’s office in Rostov fined for part in anticorruption protest
In Rostov-on-Don, the court has imposed a fine in the amount of 15,000 roubles on Timofei Martynenko, a volunteer of the office of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, for involvement in a rally. The court’s decision will be challenged, an activist’s advocate reports. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on May 25, an administrative protocol was drawn up against Timofei Martynenko in connection with his participation in the action on March 26. (For more, see Caucasian Knot, 31 May 2017)

Court Orders Release Of Russian Activist From Psychiatric Clinic
A Russian court has ordered the release of an activist who was forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2015 after making online calls for the establishment of a “Urals people’s republic.” A district court in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk ruled on June 1 that Aleksei Moroshkin poses no threat to society and must be released, his lawyer Andrei Lepyokhin said. (For more, see RFE/RL, 1 June 2017)

Supreme Court annuls journalist Elena Nadtoka’s conviction
The Presidium of the Supreme Court (SC) of Russia has cancelled the verdict against journalist Elena Nadtoka, sentenced for harsh criticism of the Mayor of Novocherkassk, and all subsequent decisions on the case. The criminal case against the journalist has been sent for reconsideration, reports advocate Tumas Misakyan. The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that after more than 12 years, a reconsideration of the verdict against journalist Elena Nadtoka is connected with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which recognized that the Russian authorities had violated the Elena Nadtoka’s right to freedom of expression. (For more, see Caucasian Knot, 31 May 2017)

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