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ALEKSEI NAVALNY’S HEALTH AND LIFE IN DANGER

Aleksei Navalny's health and life in danger

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46
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Please note that we do not have an email address for the target. If you would like to send your appeal letter online, please fill in this form

 

Aleksei Navalny is a Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist. He is one of the most prominent critics of the Russian authorities and the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (known as FBK in Russian), which has conducted investigations into corruption among Russia’s senior officials and prominent politicians and businesspeople. Aleksei Navalny, as well as many FBK employees and associates, have faced reprisals for their work including fabricated criminal and administrative charges, police raids and house searches, physical violence and selective army conscription.

In 2014, Aleksei Navalny was found guilty under politically motivated charges of fraud and sentenced to three and a half years on probation. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) later ruled that the conviction was “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable” (Navalnyye v. Russia, no. 101/15, §83, 5 March 2018) and that by keeping Aleksei Navalny under house arrest for 10 months prior to the sentencing, Russian authorities pursued an “ulterior purpose”, namely “to suppress political pluralism” (Navalnyy v. Russia (No. 2), §98, no. 43734/14). The Russian Supreme Court ordered a retrial, which failed to address human rights violations pinpointed by the ECtHR and confirmed the initial sentence.

On 20 August 2020, Aleksei Navalny fell seriously ill during a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow. On 22 August 2020, on his family’s insistence and after a vigorous domestic and international campaign, Aleksei Navalny was transferred for treatment to Berlin, Germany, in a coma. President Putin subsequently claimed that he had personally intervened to authorise his transfer. Aleksei Navalny gradually recovered in Germany and was discharged from the hospital to continue his rehabilitation. Experts with multiple governments, international organisations, and UN Special Rapporteurs (including then-SR on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions Agnès Callamard) concluded that Aleksei Navalny had been poisoned with military-grade nerve agent Novichok and pointed to the responsibility of the Russian authorities for the poisoning.

On 17 January 2021, Aleksei Navalny returned to Moscow where he was arrested at the border control for allegedly violating the terms of the suspended sentence by not reporting to the penitentiary authorities. Massive, overwhelmingly peaceful protests against his arrest took place across Russia in January and February of this year where more than 11,000 people were arrested, often with excessive force. More than 1,000 peaceful protesters were put under “administrative arrest” following unfair trials and held in inhuman conditions. A number of Aleksei Navalny’s associates and high-profile supporters, as well as many other demonstrators, are also facing criminal charges related to the protests.

On 2 February 2021, a court in Moscow ruled to imprison Aleksei Navalny for 2 years and 8 months (subsequently reduced by two months) for “violation of terms of a suspended sentence”. He was sent to a penal colony IK-2 in Vladimir Oblast, about 100 km east from Moscow, where he remains held.
 

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FAMILY MEMBERS DETAINED ON FABRICATED CHARGES

Family members detained on fabricated charges

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38
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Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev have long been targeted by the Chechen authorities. According to media reports, in 2019, at the age of 16, Ismail Isaev faced violence and persecution for his real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. He was captured by the police, beaten and held at a secret location for seven days and released for ransom. On 30 March 2020, Ismail Isaev and Salekh Magamadov were arbitrarily detained by the Chechen police and held at the premises of the patrol police regiment. There, according to their account, they were tortured and otherwise ill-treated in retaliation for moderating a youth Telegram channel “Osal Nakh 95” which contained posts critical of the Chechen authorities and traditions. They were released in May after a video with their forced “apologies” had been published on the Internet. Fearing further reprisals, including in connection with their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, they fled Chechnya in July 2020. The Russian LGBT Network helped Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev move to Nizhnii Novgorod, in Central Russia, due to ongoing concerns over their safety.

On 4 February, the LGBT Network reported that police detained Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev at the flat in Nizhnii Novgorod where they were staying. One of them managed to quickly call the LGBT Network while the flat was being raided, and the LGBT Network immediately sent them a lawyer. The lawyer discovered an empty flat and evidence of the violent raid. He eventually managed to get confirmation from the local police that Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev had been apprehended by the police, and that they were being taken by car to Gudermes, in Chechnya. The police did not disclose any other circumstances of the case.

Upon arrival in Gudermes in the afternoon of 6 February, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev were questioned as witnesses at the local police station. Their lawyer was not provided with the details of the case. They were released at around 8pm but immediately re-arrested as soon as they left the police compound, without any explanations, and taken by car to the village of Sernovodskoe, around 90km away, also in Chechnya. Their father and their lawyer followed them. In Sernovodskoe, the lawyer was not allowed to see his clients, nor was he allowed into the police station. According to the lawyer, at around 11pm, a senior Chechen official arrived at the police station and, together with police officers, forced his clients’ father to give up any attempts to see them, despite being the legal guardian of the underaged Ismail Isaev, or to have the lawyer represent them. Following this, the LGBT Network sent another lawyer to Chechnya. When the new lawyer arrived the next day, 7 February, the police did not allow him to see his clients and refused to accept his formal complaint. 

When the lawyers hired by LGBT Network were finally able to see Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev in March, they informed them about their ill-treatment during their transfer to Chechnya and while held at Sernovodskoe police station. According to Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev, the police forced them to refuse the services of the lawyers of their choice and to sign false “confessions”. Among those who interrogated them at Sernovodskoe police station, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev recognised the officers from the patrol police regiment who had detained and tortured them in Spring 2020.

On 8 February, the European Court of Human Rights requested that the Russian authorities take urgent steps to ensure that Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev are provided with immediate and unimpeded access to a lawyer of their choice and to their family members, and that they are immediately examined by an independent health professional. However, this request was ignored. At that time, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev were held in the pre-trial detention facility in Urus-Martan. On 9 February, Urus-Martan Town court remanded Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev, initially for two months, and they were placed in the pre-trial detention facility SIZO-2 in Grozny. Neither their parents nor their lawyers were informed about the hearing. The lawyers appealed their remand. On 20 February, the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic rejected the appeal. Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev were only able to see the lawyers of their choice in mid-March.

Over the years, human rights defenders have documented widespread human rights violations in Chechnya, including mass arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, and extrajudicial executions. Those who criticise the Chechen authorities, including in social media, face severe reprisals. In September 2020, 19-year-old Salman Tepsurkaev, moderator of a popular Telegram channel “1ADAT”, was abducted from Krasnodar region in southern Russia by men presumed to be Chechen law enforcement officials and taken to a secret location in Chechnya. His fate and whereabouts remain unknown despite a criminal investigation having been nominally opened into his enforced disappearance in late November 2020.
 

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RELEASE ACTIVIST AND END PROSECUTION

Release activist and end prosecution

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22
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The “undesirable organizations” law was adopted in May 2015 as part of the Russian authorities’ ongoing crackdown on freedom of association and expression (see details here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur46/2223/2015/en/) and introduced amendments to several Russian laws. According to the law, the Office of the Prosecutor General can designate a foreign or international non-governmental organization “undesirable” if it deems that the organisation poses a threat to the country’s “constitutional order, defence potential or state security”. An “undesirable” organization must immediately stop all activities in Russia from which point any cooperation or association with it is deemed unlawful and an offense. Following two penalties within a year’s period under Article 20.33 of the Code of Administrative Offences for cooperation with an “undesirable” organisation, the “offender” can be prosecuted under Article 284.1 of the Criminal Code for further violations of the law on “undesirable” organizations. The law has been used arbitrarily to ban from Russia a number of foreign organisations, mostly those providing funding for civil society. Currently, the “undesirable organizations” register includes 31 organizations. 

On 26 April 2017, the Prosecutor General’s Office declared “undesirable” the UK-registered organisations Otkrytaya Rossia and Open Russia Civic Movement (both founded by an exiled critic of President Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Khodorkovsky). There is a Russian movement Otkrytaya Rossia (Open Russia) - an initiative that brought together activists in Russia - which is neither a registered “organisation”, nor is a foreign one. Nonetheless, activists who are associated with Otkrytaya Rossia are regarded by the Russian authorities as members of a banned foreign organisation and face prosecution. Dozens of activists have been fined for their activities under the Code of Administrative Offences. Three people have so far been convicted for alleged cooperation with an “undesirable” organization. In February 2020, a court in Yekaterinburg (the Urals) sentenced Otkrytaya Rossia’s ex-coordinator Maksim Vernikov to 300 hours of community service. In October 2020, a court in Krasnodar (southern Russia) sentenced another former Otkrytaya Rossia coordinator and activist Yana Antonova to 240 hours of community service. Finally, on 18 February 2021, a court in Rostov-on-Don (southern Russia) sentenced Anastasia Shevchenko - also a former co-ordinator of Otkrytaya Rossia and the first person to face criminal prosecution under this law - to four-year suspended imprisonment and four years on probation.

Mikhail Iosilevich is a civil society and political activist and the local leader of Pastafarians (or followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster). He supported and organized a number of local events, including an anti-corruption rally, a “Monstration” (a march under absurd slogans in protest against restrictions of freedom of expression) and other events. He was fined twice in July 2019 and June 2020 under Article 20.33 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences (“Carrying out activities of an undesirable organization”) for providing the premises (his café, which also houses the local Pastafarian church) for civic initiative Free People forum attended by opposition activists, including those from Otrkytaya Rossia.

The criminal case against Mikhail Iosilevich was initiated on 29 September 2020. The investigation alleges that between 2 and 9 September 2020 Mikhail Iosilevich provided his café to an opposition group associated with Otkrytaya Rossia, for the training of election monitors. On 1 October, law enforcement officials conducted searches in Mikhail Iosilevich’s flat, his café and homes of five other Nizhnii Novgorod activists, including prominent independent journalist and editor of online media Koza Press Irina Slavina. The day after the search, Irina Slavina committed suicide by self-immolation in front of the local Ministry of Interior. She had left a message on her Facebook page saying; “Russian Federation is to blame for my death”. For months, the authorities had targeted her with prosecution and fines. 

In January 2021, a second criminal case was initiated against Mikhail Iosilevich for his alleged failure to report his second (Israeli) citizenship to the Russian authorities. The activist maintains that he had duly informed the authorities as prescribed by law.
 

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PEACEFUL PROTESTER RELEASED AFTER 16 MONTHS

Peaceful protester released after 16 months

Konstantin Kotov
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Urgent Action Outcome: Peaceful protester released after 16 months

Prisoner of conscience Konstantin Kotov, convicted for “violations of regulations of public assemblies” was released.

1st update on UA 82/20

TWO FAMILY MEMBERS DISAPPEARED IN CHECHNYA

Two family members disappeared in Chechnya

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Twenty-year-old Salekh Magamadov and 17-year-old Ismail Isaev have long been targeted by the Chechen authorities. According to media reports, in 2019, at the age of 16, Ismail Isaev faced violence and persecution for his real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. He was captured by the police, beaten and held at a secret location for seven days and released for ransom. On 30 March 2020, Ismail Isaev and Salekh Magamadov, were arbitrary detained by the Chechen police and held at the premises of the patrol police regiment. There, according to their account, they were tortured and otherwise ill-treated in retaliation for moderating a youth Telegram channel “Osal Nakh 95” which contained posts critical of the Chechen authorities and traditions. They were released in May after a video with their forced “apologies” had been published on the Internet. Fearing further reprisals, including in connection with their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, they fled Chechnya in July 2020. The Russian LGBT Network helped Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev move to Nizhnii Novgorod, in Central Russia, due to ongoing concerns over their safety.

On 4 February, the LGBT Network reported that police detained Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev at the flat in Nizhnii Novgorod where they were staying. One of them managed to quickly call the LGBT Network while the flat was being raided, and the LGBT Network immediately sent them a lawyer. The lawyer discovered an empty flat and evidence of the violent raid. He eventually managed to get confirmation from the local police that Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev had been apprehended by the police, and that they were taken by car to Gudermes, in Chechnya. The police did not disclose any other circumstances of the case.

Upon arrival in Gudermes in the afternoon of 6 February, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev were questioned at the local police station. Their lawyer was not allowed access to his clients nor was he provided with the details of the case. They were released at around 8pm but immediately re-arrested as soon as they left the police compound, without any explanations, and taken by car to the village of Sernovodskoe, around 90km away, also in Chechnya. Their father and the lawyer followed them. In Sernovodskoe, the lawyer was once again not allowed to see his clients, nor was he allowed into the police station. According to the lawyer, at around 11pm, a senior Chechen official arrived at the police station and, together with police officers, forced his clients’ father to give up any attempts to see them, despite being the legal guardian of the underaged Ismail Isaev, or to have the lawyer represent them. Following this, the LGBT Network sent another lawyer to Chechnya. 

When the new lawyer arrived the next day, 7 February, the police did not allow him to see his clients and refused to accept his formal complaint. A local commanding police officer told the lawyer that Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev were being questioned by another agency, the Investigation Committee for the Chechen Republic, but refused to disclose the grounds for their detention or share any case file materials. Since then, their whereabouts has been unknown, to their lawyer and their father. On 8 February, the European Court of Human Rights requested that the Russian authorities take urgent steps to ensure that Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev are provided with immediate and unimpeded access to the lawyer of their choice and to their family members, and are immediately examined by an independent health professional.

Over the years, human rights defenders have documented widespread human rights violations in Chechnya, including mass arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, and extrajudicial killings. Those who criticise the Chechen authorities, including in social media, face severe reprisals. In September 2020, 19-year-old Salman Tepsurkaev, moderator of a popular Telegram channel “1ADAT”, was abducted from Krasnodar region in southern Russia by men presumed to be Chechen law enforcement officials and taken to a secret location in Chechnya. His fate and whereabouts have remained unknown since, despite a criminal investigation having been nominally opened into Salman Tepsurkaev’s enforced disappearance, in late November 2020.
 

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Russia: conviction of Anastasia Shevchenko is a 'travesty of justice'

Anastasia Shevchenko had been under house arrest for more than two years © Private

Human rights defender was first person charged under 2015 law on ‘undesirable organisations’ Shevchenko had already been under house arrest for more than two years ‘Anastasia Shevchenko has committed no crime’ - Natalya Zviagina Responding to today’s conviction - and four-year suspended jail sentence - of the Russian human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Anastasia Shevchenko for “organising the activities of an undesirable organisation”, Natalya Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said: “This decision is a travesty of justice. “Anastasia Shevchenko has

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ASSAULTED PEACEFUL PROTESTER DENIED JUSTICE

Assaulted peaceful protester denied justice

Margarita Yudina - © YouTube/Fontanka.Ru
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Following the arbitrary arrest at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport and detention of an opposition activist and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny, hundreds of thousands of people took part in peaceful protests across Russia on 23 and 31 January 2021. The authorities responded with violence. International and Russian media showed footage of peaceful protesters being brutally beaten and arrested by police. According to Russian monitoring organization OVD-Info, more than 4,000 protesters were arrested on 23 January alone (with almost 600 of them in St Petersburg) and over 5,700 protesters were arrested on 31 January. Following the court hearing against Aleksei Navalny on 2 February which resulted in his imprisonment, protests took place again, and a further 1,400 people were detained. Thousands of people have been issued with large fines or sentenced to several days in detention under administrative law, and at least 40 criminal cases have been initiated against participants and organisers of the protests across the country. However, not a single investigation has been initiated so far into the unlawful use of force by the police.

Margarita Yudina is one of the peaceful protesters seeking justice for a brutal, unprovoked attack against her by a police officer during a peaceful rally. On 23 January, Margarita Yudina travelled some 147 km to St Petersburg from the town of Luga, in Leningrad Region, where she lives with her two sons (25 and 20-years-old) and her 15-year-old daughter, to take part in the demonstration.

On 26 January 2021, shortly after Margarita Yudina announced that she was planning to file an official complaint demanding an investigation into the policeman’s attack against her, she was visited by officials from the Prosecutor’s Office and child protection services at her home – something which happens when the authorities consider taking underage children into state care child welfare considerations. According to Margarita Yudina's lawyer, the officials insisted that they “only wanted to talk to her and her daughter” but she did not let them in. Two days later, the head of the local administration publicly stated that the child protection services had “questions” regarding the teenager’s living conditions and studies. He also questioned why Margarita Yudina’s sons had neither served in the army nor registered for military conscription.

Under Russian law, all men between the ages of 18 and 27 are obliged to register for military conscription and serve in the Armed Forces if conscribed, unless they are exempt, including on the grounds of health conditions or studying at a university. Over the last few years, the Russian authorities have apparently resorted to selective conscription to enlist politically active men under 27 years of age in to the army as a form of reprisal for dissent. Among those selectively conscripted are active associates of Aleksei Navalny, including the anchor of his YouTube channel, Ruslan Shaveddinov, Navalny’s aide Artem Ionov, and the press secretary of the independent trade union Doctors’ Alliance, Ivan Konovalov.
 

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ALEKSEI NAVALNY GIVEN PRISON SENTENCE

Aleksei Navalny given prison sentence

Boris Nemtsov memorial march
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Please note that we do not have an email address for the target. If you would like to send your appeal letter online, please fill in this form

 

Aleksei Navalny is a Russian politician and anti-corruption activist. He is one of the most prominent critics of the Russian authorities and the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (known as FBK in Russian), which has conducted investigations into corruption among Russia’s senior officials and prominent politicians and businesspeople. Aleksei Navalny as well as many FBK employees and associates have faced reprisals for their work including fabricated criminal and administrative charges, police raids and house search, physical violence and selective army conscription.

In 2014, Aleksei Navalny was found guilty under politically motivated charges of fraud and sentenced to three and a half years on probation. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) later ruled that the sentence was “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable” (Navalny v. Russia, no. 101/15, §83, 5 March 2018) and that by keeping Aleksei Navalny under house arrest for 10 months prior to the sentencing Russian authorities pursued an “ulterior purpose”, namely “to suppress political pluralism” (Navalny v. Russia (No. 2), §98, no. 43734/14). The Russian Supreme Court ordered a retrial, which failed to address human rights violations pinpointed by the ECtHR and upheld the initial conviction and sentence.

On 20 August 2020, Aleksei Navalny fell seriously ill during a flight from Tomsk (Siberia) to Moscow. On 22 August, on his family’s insistence and after a vigorous domestic and international campaign, Aleksei Navalny was transferred for treatment to Berlin, Germany, in a comatose state. Vladimir Putin subsequently claimed that he had personally intervened to authorise his transfer. Aleksei Navalny gradually recovered in Germany and was discharged from the hospital to continue his rehabilitation. 

Experts from several countries concluded that Aleksei Navalny had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. In spite of this and of Aleksei Navalny’s representatives’ relentless attempts to have a criminal investigation into his alleged poisoning opened, the Russian authorities have consistently refused to do so and to recognise this diagnosis. Independent investigative group Bellingcat has published their findings suggesting that Aleksei Navalny could have been poisoned by agents of the Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

In December 2020, while Navalny was recovering from the poisoning, a new criminal case was opened accusing him of “embezzling” donations from his supporters. Simultaneously, the Federal Penal Service (FSIN) claimed that Aleksei Navalny was violating the terms by not reporting to the penitentiary authorities. FSIN requested that his probation be replaced with an actual prison term of three and a half years.

On 17 January Aleksei Navalny flew to Moscow where he was arrested at the border control. Massive, overwhelmingly peaceful, protests against his arrest took place across Russia in January and February during which more than 11,000 people were arbitrarily arrested, often violently. Hundreds of peaceful protesters were put under “administrative arrest” following unfair trials and held in conditions that amounted to torture or other ill-treatment. A number of Aleksei Navalny’s associates and high-profile supporters, as well as ordinary demonstrators, are also facing trumped-up criminal charges related to the protests.

On 2 February, a court in Moscow granted FSIN’s motion and ruled to imprison Aleksei Navalny for 2 years and 8 months (taking into consideration his pre-trial house arrest).
 

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Russia: Navalny is prisoner of conscience after 'politically-motivated' sentencing

Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny had a previously suspended sentence activated by the Moscow court © Навальный LIVE / YouTube

Kremlin critic has previously suspended sentence activated by Moscow court Detention facilities filled beyond capacity after mass arrests, with Amnesty staff member among those swept up ‘This latest crackdown stands out for its viciousness and sheer scale’ - Natalia Zviagina Responding to a court in Moscow sentencing the opposition activist and Kremlin critic Aleksei Navalny to two years and eight months in prison this afternoon - the latest development in a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests in Russia - Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director, said: “In their

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