29 August 2020
Hi. It’s Aleksei Yurtaev, Team 29’s podcast producer
The main (and rather depressing!) news is that summer has come to an end. We hope you spent it well, or at least got plenty of rest. While we’ve been heading off on, and returning from, holiday; going hiking; swimming in the sea; and watering the plants at the dacha, Team 29’s clients have been stuck in stuffy Lefortovo Prison.
For instance, the journalist Ivan Safronov, who has been accused of treason, was put away in a two-person cell with a ‘confrontational’ cellmate who is facing a charge of terrorism and previously got into fights with others in the cell.
Moscow Public Monitoring Commission member Marina Litvinovich, who is visiting Safronov in the remand centre, says that Ivan decided to make friends with his cellmate, and even requested halal sausage on his behalf. Earlier, the human rights defender told us that Ivan is bearing up okay: he tries to do some sport when he’s let out for a walk and likes to respond to all the letters that arrive for him.
Meanwhile, the crowdfunding collection in support of Ivan, which his loved ones launched with Team 29 in late July 2020, comfortably exceeded 100% of its target. Thanks to everyone who helped us out!
If this is the first you’ve heard of the case against Ivan Safronov, then have a listen to our podcast from the On Treason series! This episode can be found on Apple Podcasts; Google Podcasts; Castbox; Simplecast; VKontakte.
Another Team 29 client, former Inter RAO executive Karina Tsurkan, who has been charged with espionage, is preparing for trial. The head of Team 29, lawyer Ivan Pavlov, told us that Tsurkan’s defence has now reviewed the criminal case file and that a decision on referring the case to court will soon be taken.
Elections, elections! Gubernatorial elections are to take place on 13 September in 17 Russian regions, while legislative assembly members will be selected in 11 regions. On this single voting day, city mayors and village leaders will also be chosen, and elections will be held in local authorities and municipalities. All in all, it’s going to be an intense day!
The whole process may last for three days, as a new three-day voting act was passed in late July 2020. On our website, Team 29 lawyers Valery Vetoshkina and Arina Nachinova explain how the voting process has changed and how electoral commissions are now going to work.
We hope you stay out of trouble and that you enjoy the last few days of summer!
Translated by Lindsay Munford