Law of the Week: Article 236 of the Russian Criminal Code (Violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules)

Week-ending 3 September 2021

This week (on 30 August 2021) Article 236 of the Russian Criminal Code, ‘Violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules’, was used to sentence Moscow municipal lawmaker Dmitry Baranovsky to 18 months of ‘restricted freedom.’ Baranovsky had been found guilty of publicly calling for people to take part in unsanctioned rallies to support Aleksei Navalny in January. Under the sentence, Baranovsky is not allowed to leave his home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., attend public events, or leave Moscow or the Moscow region without police permission for 18 months. On 1 September Anastasia Vasilyeva, the doctor-turned-activist linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, was arrested near her Moscow office shortly before a court hearing in which she is a defendant on charges of breaching ‘sanitary norms.’

As RFE/RL points out: ‘Last week, the same court sentenced another municipal lawmaker, Lyusya Shtein, to one year of restricted freedom on the same charge. Earlier this month, other defendants in the case, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh and his Moscow team coordinator Oleg Stepanov were sentenced to 18 months and one year of restricted freedom respectively. Navalny’s brother Oleg was found guilty of the same charges this month and handed a one-year suspended sentence and a one-year probation period. Other Navalny associates and rights activists have been given similar sentences on the same charges.

Sources and other related news:

RFE/RL, 30 August 2021: A Moscow court has sentenced another supporter of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny to 18 months of so-called “restricted freedom,” a parole-like sentence, for allegedly violating restrictive measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The Moscow Times, 30 August 2021: Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s spokeswoman, one of his last close associates remaining in the country, has fled Russia, Interfax reported Monday.

RFE/RL, 30 August 2021: An activist who publicly supports jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting system says he was detained and pressed to disclose information on others by police in Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg.

RFE/RL, 1 September 2021: A Moscow court has handed a suspended sentence to a participant of the January 23 rally to support opposition politician Aleksei Navalny after convicting him of attacking an officer and damaging a police car during the dispersal of demonstrators.

The Moscow Times, 1 September 2021: Russian police have detained Anastasia Vasilyeva, the doctor-turned-activist linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, near her Moscow office, her lawyer said Wednesday. 

Human Rights in Ukraine, 1 September 2021: Russia’s Supreme Court is to review the case file and rulings in the prosecution of Yury Dmitriev, world-renowned historian of Stalin’s Terror and head of the Karelia branch of the Memorial Society.  The Court’s request for the case file was reported on 31 August 2021 by the Memorial Society which notes that this review is “Yury Dmitriev’s last chance for a just examination of the charges against him within the Russian court system.”  As reported, an application was filed in March this year with the European Court of Human Rights. 

RFE/RL, 2 September 2021: The walls of the apartment block in Moscow where prominent Russian human rights defender Lev Ponomaryov lives have been vandalized with hate messages on his 80th birthday.

RFE/RL, 3 September 2021: The prosecution has asked a court in the Russian city of Ufa to sentence a woman to four years in prison because she sent a small amount of money to the elderly mother of a jailed opposition activist.

RFE/RL, 3 September 2021: A court in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Kabardino-Balkaria has given a suspended two-year prison sentence to an activist who has no hands after finding him guilty of attacking police.

RFE/RL, 3 September 2021: Jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny says he has distributed the financial part of the Boris Nemtsov Prize, 10,000 euros ($11,850), he received in February, among the families of four political prisoners.

Leave a Reply