Weekly Update week-ending 1 May 2020

Read our selection of the past week’s news: Rights in Russia week-ending 1 May 2020

Listen to our latest Russian-language podcast; our guest this week is Karinna Moskalenko, founder of the International Protection Centre that specialises in litigation before the European Court of Human Rights: Simon & Sergei: Human rights in Russia – with Karinna Moskalenko– You can find these podcasts on Podcasts.comSoundCloudiTunes and Spotify.

‘Journalist Elena Milashina has called for the head of the Chechen Republic to be prosecuted under the criminal law for obstructing journalistic work and issuing death threats.’  – The first item in OVD-Info’s Weekly Bulletin concerns Novaya gazeta journalist, Elena Milashina, recently the victim of a brutal assault in Chechnya. Translated by Judith Fagelson

‘If you head out often enough, the camera nearest to the door of your apartment building will begin to recognise your face.  In Moscow, there are over one 100,000 facial recognition cameras, and there’s already a lot they can do.’ – Team 29 in its weekly review focuses on the increase in use of surveillance cameras in Russia today. Translated by Lindsay Munford  

‘Front-line soldiers did not like to recall the war. We were little brats and pestered them with questions, but the men kept silent. It was a dirty business, they said, bloody and vile…’  – Vera Vasilieva quotes from a letter she received from Yury Dmitriev, historian and investigator of the crimes of Stalinism held in a pre-trial detention centre.  Translated by Anna Bowles and James Lofthouse

‘The greatest loss for civil society, beginning in 2012, was inflicted, of course, by the “law on foreign agents”: thousands of conscientious NGOs that had been rendering assistance to various people who found themselves in difficult situations were shut down due to a lack of money or simply a reluctance to bear the shameful stamp.’ – Leonid Nikitinsky looks at the impact of the Coronavirus on prisons and on relations between civil society and government in Russia. Translated by Marian Schwartz

‘In many Russian regions, people are trying to lodge complaints in court against the authorities’ unlawful introduction of compulsory self-isolation—in reality, it is already a spontaneous civic movement.’– Igor Averkiev of Perm Civic Chamber looks at a legal challenge to isolation measures introduced in Perm. Translated by John Tokolish

‘Her mother asked us what we could do to help her daughter, only without raising a fuss. Because neither her relatives nor her friends knew that she was in jail. It was too shameful.’ – Olga Romanova of Russia Behind Bars looks at the failure to challenge abuses in the penitentiary system.  Translated by Mercedes Malcomson and Simon Cosgrove

‘The epidemic is already being actively used to put pressure on journalists. The authorities are communicating with the press using militaristic, directly threatening language.’– Syndicate 100, an association of journalists, issues a public appeal against increasing media censorship. Translated by Elizabeth Teague

‘In any epidemic — cholera, the plague, anthrax — conducting a draft is a crime against the state.’  – Valentina Melnikova argues that it is a crime to carry out conscription during the epidemic. Translated by Nina dePalma

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