News of the Day: 24 December 2020

RFE/RL: A court in Moscow has handed local opposition politician Yulia Galyamina a two-year suspended sentence for her involvement in anti-Kremlin rallies. The Tver district court on December 23 found Galyamina, an opposition member of a Moscow district council, guilty of repeatedly violating rules on public gatherings by organizing and staging unsanctioned rallies and protests in Moscow. Dozens of Galyamina’s supporters gathered in front of the court as the verdict was handed down to support the outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin. In her final statement during the trial ealier in the week, Galyamina told Putin, investigators, security officials and police that the proceedings proved they see her as a “real threat.”

The Guardian: The Berlin doctors who treated Alexei Navalny have published clinical details of his novichok poisoning, in what the Russian opposition leader called the medical proof repeatedly denied by President Vladimir Putin. In an article in The Lancet medical journal, doctors at Berlin’s Charite hospital detail the symptoms observed as Navalny was admitted into their care in August. They provide information on his physical responses as infusions, treatments, CT scans and MRIs were carried out. “Ascertaining the involvement of a novichok agent and its biotransformation products in this case was only achieved several days after establishing the diagnosis of cholinesterase inhibitor poisoning and did not affect therapeutic decision,” they write.

RFE/RL: A Russian court has sentenced a married couple in Kaliningrad to lengthy jail terms after finding them guilty of spying for Latvia and state treason. The wife, Antonina Zimina, received 13 years in a penal colony while her husband, Konstantin Antonets, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in a maximum-security prison. The prosecutors had requested 14 years for Zimina and 13 years for Antonets. The couple denied any wrongdoing and will appeal the verdict, their lawyer, Mikhail Bayev, said. Antonets and Zimina were detained in July 2018 in Kaliningrad and went on trial behind closed doors in May. They were charged with treason after state prosecutors accused them of sharing a photograph with Latvia of a counterintelligence officer from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) who had attended their wedding.

Human Rights in Ukraine: A Russian prosecutor has demanded sentences of 19, 18 and 13 years against three Crimean Tatars who are not accused of any recognizable crime.  The three recognized political prisoners: 59-year-old Enver Omerov; his son Riza Omerov (32) and Aider Dzhapparov (39), are the latest victims of the worst conveyor belt ‘trials’ that Russia has brought to Crimea, with the ‘court’ in Rostov clearly eager to pass sentence, and refusing to hear 10 of the defence witnesses.  This is the same Southern District Military Court involved in most political trials of Ukrainians since Russia’s invasion of Crimea, including Enver Omerov’s son-in-law, Rustem Ismailov.

RAPSI: Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court on Thursday detained opposition figure Sergey Udaltsov for 10 days for breaching the order of running public events, the court’s press service told RAPSI. Earlier, Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court refused to toughen administrative supervision imposed on Udaltsov. In September 2018, the city’s Simonovsky District Court ordered Udaltsov to be subject to administrative supervision until August 2021 when his criminal record is to be canceled. The opposition activist was ordered to visit police twice a month, banned from attending mass rallies, demonstrations and other public events and leaving Moscow Region.  Later, he filed a complaint against this decision with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

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