News of the Day: 11 May 2021

The Guardian: A gunman attacked a school in the Russian city of Kazan on Tuesday morning, killing seven students and a teacher, officials have said. Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of the Tatarstan republic where Kazan is the capital, said four male and three female eighth-grade students died in “a great tragedy for the whole country”. Minnikhanov’s press service later said a teacher was also killed. Eighth-grade children in Russia are 13 and 14 years old. Footage posted on social media showed a young man being pinned to the ground outside the school by a police officer. Minnikhanov said a 19-year-old “terrorist” had been arrested and that the firearm used in the shooting was registered in the suspect’s name. 

The Moscow Times: Russia has sentenced a prominent young activist to over two years of home confinement on vandalism charges amid the country’s widening crackdown on dissent, the Mediazona news website reported Tuesday. Olga Misik, 19, became a symbol of Russia’s pro-democracy movement after she sat and read the Constitution to a line of armored riot officers at a July 2019 protest against the barring of allies of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny from Moscow city council elections. She and two friends were charged with vandalizing a government building after they hung a banner in support of political prisoners and splashed red paint on a security booth outside the Prosecutor General’s Office building in August 2020.  Under the verdict, Misik will be banned from leaving her home between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. for two years and two months. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of two years of “restricted liberty” for Misik. Her friends and fellow defendants Ivan Vorobyevsky and Igor Basharimov have been sentenced to one year and nine months of “restricted liberty” with a curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

CPJ: Russian authorities should not contest the appeals of journalists Aleksey Solovyov and Damir Manzhukov, and should release Solovyov from detention immediately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On May 9, the Vysokogorsky District Court in Russia’s central Republic of Tatarstan convicted Solovyov and Manzhukov, correspondents for the independent news website Rosderzhava, on charges of interfering with traffic and disobeying police, according to news reports. The court sentenced Solovyev to five days of administrative arrest, and fined Manzhukov 2,000 rubles (US$27) and released him, those reports said. The journalists did not admit guilt, Solovyov told CPJ, adding that police confiscated their equipment during the arrest and have not returned it. He said that he had already filed an appeal in his case, and that Manzhukov planned to appeal as well.

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