News of the Day: 22 June 2021

The Moscow Times: Russia has declared Bard College an “undesirable” organization in a move that risks significant jail time for anyone affiliated with the U.S. liberal arts college.  The Prosecutor General’s Office accused the institution Monday of “threatening Russia’s constitutional order and security.” Once blacklisted, any “undesirable” organization must cease all activities in Russia or anyone affiliated with it could face fines or imprisonment for up to six years. Russia’s prosecutor’s office said it forwarded the materials to the Justice Ministry to blacklist Bard College as the 35th “undesirable” organization in the country. Bard College, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, has not yet commented on the designation.

The Moscow Times: More Russians are legally deprived of the right to run for office today than they were during the Soviet period, according to newly published research by the Golos independent election monitor. Golos estimates that at least 9 million Russians, or 8% of the population, have been stripped of so-called “passive suffrage” even before Russian lawmakers tightened election laws in recent months and shut out members of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s movement.

RFE/RL: The girlfriend of a Chechen woman who was taken to her native Chechnya by force after police in neighboring Daghestan raided a shelter for victims of domestic violence earlier this month has asked Russian lawmaker Oksana Pushkina to investigate the situation. Anna Manylova said in a video statement issued on Instagram late on June 21 that she is ready to provide Pushkina with all of the necessary evidence proving that her girlfriend, Khalima Taramova, is being held in Chechnya against her will.

RFE/RL: A Moscow district court has postponed until June 25 the hearing of a suit by imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny asking the court to rescind a decision by prison officials designating him as a “flight risk.” The Preobrazhensky District Court on June 22 granted a request by Navalny’s lawyers for additional time to study some case materials. Navalny participated in the hearing by videolink from prison in the Vladimir region.

RFE/RL: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay almost two million euros ($2.4 million) to the relatives of 11 people who went missing in Chechnya in 2005 during a special operation by the Vostok (East) military unit. The ECHR ruled on June 22 that Russia violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life, when, according to witnesses, the military unit in question killed an elderly man in the town of Borozdinovskaya in Chechnya in October 2005 and abducted 11 local residents, mainly ethnic Avars, whose whereabouts have been unknown since then.

The Moscow Times: This week’s visit by Myanmar’s junta chief to Moscow “legitimizes” the country’s “brutal and unlawful attempted coup,” Justice for Myanmar, a leading human rights group that investigates the military’s business interests, told The Moscow Times. Senior General Min Aung Hlaing arrived in Moscow on Sunday for a three-day international security conference starting Tuesday that brings together defense officials from around the world.

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