Week-ending 12 March 2021
On 5 March 2021 members of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission [ONK] voted to exclude Marina Litvinovich from membership of the Commission. It was alleged Litvinovich had disclosed information in a TV interview related to a criminal investigation against Liubov Sobol, a lawyer who works for Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Litvinovich has said the allegations against her are false. Observers consider the real reason for the attempt to remove her may have been her active work monitoring and publicising the conditions of arrested protesters held in pre-trial detention centres.
RFE/RL, 9 March 2021: A well-known Russian rights activist, Marina Litvinovich, says last week’s decision by the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission (ONK) to exclude her from the group was politically motivated. The commission on March 5 voted to leave Litvinovich off the panel saying that, in a televised interview earlier, she had disclosed information related to a probe launched into Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. Sobol is currently under detention on charges of breaking coronavirus restrictions by publicly calling on Moscow residents to take part in unsanctioned rallies to support Navalny. Members of the ONK monitor the rights of inmates in Russian penitentiaries and have a right to visit detention centers and correctional facilities to hear complaints from inmates. Litvinovich told Current Time in an interview on March 9 that the allegations against her were false and that the decision to exclude her from the group she had served on since 2019 was made due to her activism.