OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 191: Navalny transferred to prison

27 February 2021

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests and prosecutions in Russia. Each week OVD-Info publishes a bulletin with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here.

Illustration: Viktoriya Kim for OVD-Info

Hi! Aleksei Navalny has been transferred to prison, an Anti-Corruption Foundation cameraman has been released from remand and put under house arrest, and a convict in the Moscow Case is being denied release from prison.

Navalny transferred to prison. The politician’s lawyer has reported that he was transferred out of Federal Remand Centre № 1, where he had been held since the hearing to replace his suspended sentence with an actual prison term. Meanwhile, Amnesty International has stripped Navalny of his status as a prisoner of conscience, citing his previous statements inciting hatred. Leonid Volkov, head of Navalny’s campaign team, claims that this decision was the result of provocation by the Russian authorities. 

Anti-Corruption Foundation cameraman placed under house arrest. Pavel Zelensky has been charged with inciting extremism, in connection with his Tweets about the suicide of Irina Slavina, a journalist from Nizhny Novgorod. Ivan Zhdanov, the director of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, had previously reported that while Zelensky was on remand, he had been coerced into refusing legal assistance from human rights group Agora and pleading guilty. However, both Zelensky himself and his wife deny this. Zelensky will now wait at home for the court’s verdict.

Libertarian suspected of road blockages. A court in Tver has ruled to place several restrictions on Gleb Mariasov, who is suspected of closing off a street during the pro-Navalny protests on 23rd January, which is a criminal offence. Mariasov is banned from leaving his flat at night, using the internet and attending rallies.

Moscow Case convict accused of breaking prison rules. Egor Lesnykh was due to be released on parole, but the public prosecutor has appealed the decision, and officers in the prison where he is serving his sentence have retroactively accused him of violating prison rules. He is now waiting for a new hearing which may end up in his parole being revoked. In 2019, Lesnykh was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with the dispersal of protests on 27th July.


Haulier receives suspended sentence. Mikhail Vedrov, who took part in protests against the Platon toll-collection system, has received a 2.5-year suspended sentence for assault against a police officer. Vedrov himself maintains that the traffic police officer shouted and lurched suddenly at him in order to provoke violence. OVD-Info writer Aleksandr Litoi tells the story of how this haulier and veteran protester was prosecuted.

Unsanitary conditions. Since the start of 2021’s protests, at least 1,251 have been detained on administrative grounds in Moscow. Special detention centres were not prepared for such an influx of inmates, and so the system had to improvise: we have all heard tales of huge queues in front of these short-term detention centres, where people waited in front of the Sakharovo Immigration Detention Centre to be transferred elsewhere. OVD-Info has compiled testimonials from three people who suffered under these terrible conditions while in detention and in transit.


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Translated by Judith Fagelson

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