Weekly Update week-ending 14 February 2020

Read our summary of the week’s news: Week-ending 14 February 2020

Listen to our latest podcast [in Russian]; our guest this week is Vyacheslav Bakhmin speaking from Moscow: Simon & Sergei: Human rights in Russia week-ending 14 February 2020
– You can also find these podcasts on iTunes and Spotify

‘Late on the night of Thursday, 6 February, a group of Chechen hired thugs attacked me and lawyer Marina Dubrovina. This was not the first act of aggression encountered by human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers in Chechnya.’ 
– Journalist Elena Milashina reflects on the recent brutal attack on her and lawyer Marina Dubrovina in Grozny. Translated by Marian Schwartz and Joanne Reynolds

‘Regarding judicial independence, I am sure that in Russia not a single person, especially those who have somehow encountered the Russian courts, would consider them independent.’ 
– Zoya Svetova on the lack of judicial independence in Russia. Translated by Anna Bowles.

‘On 10 February, the courts in Perm handed down prison sentences to defendants in the Network case, ranging from six to 18 years. Activists travelled from a range of different cities to attend the hearing. The next day, the police visited the flat where some of them had been staying. While this was going on, picketers speaking out in support of the defendants were being arrested in Moscow.’ 
– OVD-Info heads its weekly bulletin with a report on the sentences in the Network case. Translated by Judith Fagelson

‘I hope that none of you will have need of this, but here you go – we have written about what to do when they come for you. It’s always best to be prepared for this.’  
– Against the background of the Network case, Team 29 gives advice to citizens for ‘when they come for you.’ Translated by Lindsay Munford.

‘“You have half an hour left to live if you confess, and maybe one and a half if you don’t,” is what these amoral monsters said to their victims. The tales of FSB torture survivors differ from the Nuremberg trial transcripts only in that these people haven’t been killed afterwards. Yet.’ 
– Lev Shlosberg condemns the alleged use of torture against defendants in the Network prosecution. Translated by Alice Lee

‘Friends! Whether far or near, well-known or known only as names in press reports, languishing in prisons and penal colonies or still awaiting trial on remand, please know you are not alone, you are not forgotten: those at liberty remember you and wait for you.’ 
– Colta.ru has published an appeal by hundreds of writers, artists and others condemning the convictions in the Network case. Translated by Simon Cosgrove

‘To win you have to withstand blows.’ 
– Activist Sasha Krylenkova reacts to the convictions in the Network case. Translated by Simon Cosgrove

‘On 10 February 2020 the verdict in the so-called ‘Network’ case was announced: seven young men, supporters of anarchist and anti-fascist ideas, were sentenced to terms in prison colonies ranging from six to 18 years for creating, or participating in, a terrorist group, and also for possessing weapons and ammunition.’  
– As Memorial points out in its press release on the Network verdict, the human rights organisation has already recognised the defendants in the Network case as political prisoners.

‘Feminist and artist Yulia Svetkova, who lives in Komsomolsk-na-Amur, has been charged with unlawful preparation and trafficking of pornographic materials on the Internet.’ 
– Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognised Yulia Svetkova as a political prisoner.

‘Memorial Human Rights Centre believes the prosecution of 11 Crimean Tatars is politically motivated. They are being prosecuted for the non-violent realisation of their rights to freedom of conscience, belief, association and peaceful assembly.’  
– Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognised 11 Crimean Tatars as political prisoners.

‘Memorial Human Rights Centre has studied the charges laid against Nizamov and concluded that his prosecution is politically motivated.’ 
– Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognised Eduard Nizamov as a political prisoner.

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