OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin 138: Police in jail, Ingushetia, a kidnapping in Chechnya

1 February 2020


OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday OVD-Info sends out a mailing with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here.

Corrupt police officers in Moscow are being sent down, activists are coming under pressure in Ingushetia, and people are being kidnapped in Chechnya.

The Golunov case. Five police officers who planted drugs on Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov in the summer have now been placed on remand. They are facing charges of abuse of office, falsification of evidence and possession drugs. 
Why does this matter? Golunov, an investigative journalist at Meduza, was detained on 6th June and placed under house arrest, but was released soon after, on 11th June, thanks to an unprecedented public campaign. The case against Golunov was dropped, but for a long time the authorities were reluctant to punish the police officers who framed him.

Ingushetia. A volunteer from the human rights project Ambulance has been searched. Ambulance’s coordinator was called in for questioning at the Centre for Anti-Extremism. Meanwhile, the public prosecutor has ordered the liquidation of the Ingush Committee for National Unity.

Why does this matter? Ambulance is an action group, which supports defendants in a case that has been dubbed Ingushetia’s version of Bolotnaya Square. Oppositionist activists in the republic are coming under sustained pressure from the local authorities.

Chechnya. Law enforcement officers in the Republic of Chechnya have arrested 25 people in connection with a meme showing Ramzan Kadyrov in a Russian Orthodox cassock. The people involved were taken into detention and beaten.

Why does this matter? People working in Kadyrov’s security structures are frequently accused of assaults and kidnappings. For instance, human rights activists and journalists believe them to be responsible for violence against gay Chechens.


Orphans undergoing mandatory medical treatment. Igor Gorlanov, who grew up in a children’s home, wanted a meeting with Putin but ended up being arrested and beaten. Later, the courts ordered him to undergo medical treatment. Aleksandr Litoi tells his story, which started with a lone picket outside the presidential administration building in Moscow, and ended in the Kemerovo psychiatric hospital. Golanov has since been released.

The Constitutional Court on Konstantin Kotov. It looks like the case against Konstantin Kotov, who received a prison sentence for an administrative offence, will be reviewed as a result of a ruling from the Constitutional Court. We explain exactly what position the court has taken.

The case against Daria Poliudova. Left-wing activist Daria Poliudova ended up on remand, facing charges of justifying terrorism and inciting separatism. Poliudova already had a prior conviction of inciting separatism. Our piece explains both the new case against the activist and the previous one, and it also reveals more about Daria herself.

The Moscow Case – Maksim Martintsov. Maksim Martintsov is one of the defendants in the Moscow Case, and has received a 2-and-a-half year prison sentence for his participation in the 27th July protest. OVD-Info member Anna Romashchenko spoke to Maksim’s mother about meetings in jail, letters, and life after Maksim’s arrest.

Less than 150 metres. In Samara, public gatherings may not be held within 150 metres of churches, hospitals and educational institutions – even if these assemblies are just English language courses. ON 29th January, local Deputies from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation proposed softening the law, but the regional Duma refused their proposal. Local communist Mikhail Matveev told OVD-Info about the contrived bans surrounding public gatherings in the city.


Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin.
Photo: Konstantin Kotov at a picket [from Konstantin Kotov’s Facebook page]

Translated by Judith Fagelson

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