News of the Week

Week-ending 15 December 2023

Russia’s war on Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been accompanied by widespread destruction and damage of many schools and other educational facilities, and has resulted in widespread and systemic violations of children’s right to education. (Amnesty International, 11/12/23)

Moscow City Court cancelled a fine imposed on Oleg Orlov for “repeated discrediting the armed forces” and sent the case back to prosecutors, who have demanded a three-year jail term for the human rights defender. (RFE/RL 14/12/23; Human Rights Watch, Front Line Defenders, 11/12/23) 

Sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky was fined 600,000 rubles for “justifying terrorism” for anti-war comments.  (The Moscow Times, 12 /12/23) 

More than 70 regional lawmakers across Russia urged President Putin on December 14 to secure medical assistance for Moscow municipal lawmaker Aleksei Gorinov jailed for anti-war statements. (RFE/RL, 14/12/23)

Russian authorities forcibly disappeared Mariano García Calatayud, a Spanish volunteer humanitarian worker in Ukraine. (Amnesty International 11/12/23) 

Tajik migrant workers said they were beaten and deported on fabricated criminal charges for refusing to fight in Ukraine. (RFE/RL, 13/12/23) 

Russian-imposed police in Ukraine’s Moscow-annexed Crimea detained Crimean Tatar religious leader Ismail Yurdamov on December 13. (RFE/RL, 13/12/23) 

Aleksei Navalny

Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has not been heard from for nearly a week and his lawyers have been unable to contact him. (The Guardian, 11/12/23; Amnesty International, 12/12/23)

Freedom of Expression

The Supreme Court of Tatarstan on December 12 confirmed a lower court’s decision to hold RFE/RL journalist Alsu Kurmasheva in custody but reduced her detention term by one day. (RFE/RL, 12/12/23) 

Russian authorities released Ruslan Akhmetshin, a former associate of jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, from a penal colony in the northwestern Arkhangelsk region on December 15 at the end of a 30-month prison term on a charge of rehabilitation of Nazism. (RFE/RL, 15/12/23)

Chechnya

A court in Chechnya on Tuesday denied a parole request for Zarema Musaeva, serving a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence on charges of assaulting police officers and fraud. (The Moscow Times, 12/12/23)  

LGBT Rights

Russian riot police raided an LGBT club in Yekaterinburg shortly after Russia’s Supreme Court banned the activities of the “international LGBT movement”. (RFE/RL, 12/12/23)  

FSB

A military court in Moscow on December 14 sentenced five Tajik nationals — Manuchehr Buriev, Rajabali Buriev, Abdumalik Samiev, Samandar Toshmurodov, and Abduqodir Toirov — and a Russian citizen from the North Caucasus region of Daghestan, Gadzhimurad Gasanaliyev, to prison terms between 16 years and 22 years on charges of organizing a terrorist group and plotting a terrorist attack against the Federal Security Service headquarters in the Russian capital (RFE/RL, 14/12/23)


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