CSO of the Week: Open Russia civic movement

Week-ending 24 January 2020

House Arrests, New Criminal Charges

Russian court has extended the house arrest of Anastasiya Shevchenko, a member of the Open Russia Civic Movement, alleging that she is involved in an “undesirable” organization, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision is consistent with Russian authorities’ use of an abusive law on “undesirable organizations” to silence activists, with several other activists on trial or facing prosecution on similar accusations. “That Anastasiya Shevchenko has been confined to her apartment for over a year is absurd,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “No one should spend even a minute in detention for what Open Russia activists are accused of, yet Russian authorities are using criminal prosecutions as a scare tactic against civic activism and critical voices.” Human Rights Watch, 18 January 2020

A Perversion of Justice in Russia

Last weekend, news broke that Russian police had placed a surveillance camera in the bedroom of Anastasiya Shevchenko, an activist currently facing criminal charges for involvement in an “undesirable” foreign organization. Shevchenko’s daughter, who posted the news on social media, also said Anastasiya’s apartment had been wired for nearly five months in 2018, prior to her initial arrest. Unbeknownst to Anastasiya, the police installed a hidden camera pointing at her bed. It’s unclear what police were trying to catch on film in Shevchenko’s home, but what is certain is they have grossly violated her privacy in an inappropriate and humiliating manner. Human Rights Watch, 23 January 2020

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