Coalition

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Ivan Lyubshin

The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Ivan Lyubshin, a resident of Kaluga, as a political prisoner. The criminal case against him should be closed, he should be immediately released, and his allegations of torture should be objectively investigated.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Airat Dilmukhametov

Case Update:

Despite of the obvious political motivation of the criminal charges against Airat, on August 24, 2020, the Central District Military Court sentenced Airat Dilmukhametov to 9 years in a strict regime colony. He was found guilty on four counts: public calls for separatism, public justification of terrorism, public calls for extremism and its financing. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Oleksandr Marchenko

The Memorial Human Rights Centre, in accordance with international guidelines, recognized Oleksandr Marchenko as a political prisoner. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Gennady Shpakovsky

On June 06, 2020, Pskov City Court sentenced Gennady Shpakovsky, 61-year-old Jehovah’s Witness and a political prisoner from Pskov, western Russia, to six and a half years’ imprisonment for his faith. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Aitahadzhi Khalimov

The Memorial Human Right Center recognized Aitahadzhi Khalimov, a Kazakhstan citizen living in Russia, convicted to 3.5 years in prison for justifying terrorism by keeping video files on his social network page as a political prisoner. Aitahadzhi Khalimov saved three videos with archival footage from the first Chechen war on his VKontakte profile. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Nikolai Platoshkin

The Memorial Human Right Center has recognized Nikolai Platoshkin – a left-wing politician and video blogger – as a political prisoner. Platoshkin is unjustly accused of planning mass riots. This charge is politically motivated and related to his oppositional social and political activities. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Nariman Memedeminov

On October 2, 2019, Nariman Memedeminov, a dual citizen of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation, a resident of Crimea, activist of the Crimean Solidarity movement, and a citizen journalist, was sentenced to two years and six months in a penal colony and banned from administering websites for two years in accordance with Part 1 of Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code (“Public calls for terrorist activities”).

In 2013, Mededeminov published videos of events hosted by the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (an organization that was legally operating in Ukraine but banned in the Russian Federation) on his YouTube channel. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Rakhmiddin Kamolov

In accordance with international guidelines defining the term, Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Rakhmiddin Kamolov, a human rights activist and a Uzbekistan national serving a 16-year prison term in Russia, as a political prisoner. We believe that Kamolov was persecuted for political reasons in connection with a non-violent exercise of his rights such as freedom of conscience, religion, speech and association. Also, his right to a fair trial was violated. The purpose of the persecution was to force Kamolov to halt his public activities. Memorial Human Rights Center urges for the immediate release of Rakhmiddin Kamolov. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Alexander Gabyshev

In accordance with international guidelines defining the term, Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Alexander Gabyshev, a shaman from a Siberian region of Yakutia, as a political prisoner. Deprivation of liberty was applied to him solely because of his political and religious beliefs, as well as a non-violent exercise of freedom of movement, expression, peaceful assembly, conscience, and religion. We urge for the immediate and unconditional release of Gabyshev and his full rehabilitation with redress. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Aleksandr Atamanov

In accordance with international guidelines defining the term, Memorial Human Rights Center considers Aleksandr Atamanov, a resident of Pyatigorsk, a political prisoner. Aleksandr was charged with recruiting people into the Ukrainian Right Sector and possessing drugs. The guilt of Aleksandr Atamanov has not been proved and key pieces of evidence in the case were fabricated. Aleksand repeatedly said that violence was used against him in pre-trial custody and threats were made against his relatives. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Aleksei Bessarabov and Vladimir Dudka

According with international guidelines and definitions, Memorial Human Rights Center considers two residents of Sevastopol, Crimea Aleksei Bessarabov and Vladimir Dudka political prisoners. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Sergei Mokhnatkin

On May 28, 2020, Russian civil and human rights activist Sergei Mokhnatkin died at the age of 66. Mokhnatkin died in a hospital suffering from complications from a spinal injury received in prison.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: Prosecution of Crimean Tatars

The Crimean Tatars are a Muslim ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula. They have been among the most vocal critics of the Russian occupation of Crimea, and as a result, the Russian authorities have relentlessly persecuted them.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Artpodgotovka

Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Oleg Dmitriev, Oleg Ivanov, and Sergei Ozerov, supporters of a group called Artpodgotovka, convicted of preparing a terrorist act in the center of Moscow on November 5, 2017, as political prisoners.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: Victory Day’s Amnesty Cancelled

Despite numerous initiatives to amnesty prisoners, including political prisoners, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Victory Day, commemorating the victory of the Soviet Union and the Allies over Nazi Germany, the State Duma refused to give amnesty this year. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: Prosecution of Religious Minorities in Russia in April 2020

Earlier this week The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a new annual report on the state of religious freedoms across the globe. According to the report, religious freedom conditions in Russia deteriorated in 2019. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Gennady Kravtsov

Gennady Kravtsov is a radio engineer who was sentenced to six years in prison in a maximum-security colony on charges of committing a crime under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (‘High Treason’). He has been in custody since May 27, 2014. Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized Gennady Kravtsov as a political prisoner because the actions he was accused of never took place and his right to a fair trial was violated. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized another 130 Jehovah’s Witnesses as political prisoners and politically persecuted. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Azat Miftakhov

Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student at the engineering mathematics faculty at Moscow State University and a supporter of anarchist views, is under investigation on two counts. He has been charged under Article 213, Section 2, of the Russian Criminal Code (‘Hooliganism by a group of people by prior agreement,’ for which the penalty is up to seven years of prison) and is a suspect of an offence under Article 223.1, Section 1, of the Russian Criminal Code (‘Illegal preparation of explosive substances and explosive devices,’ for which the penalty is up to six years of prison). (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Maxim Smyshlyaev

Maxim Smyshlyaev, a resident of the city of Rostov-on-Don of left persuasions. At the time of his arrest, he worked at a McDonald’s outlet and studied extramurally at the Institute of History and International Relations of the Southern Federal University. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony under Part 3 of Article 205.1 (‘Complicity in the preparation of a terrorist act’) of the Russian Criminal Code for having allegedly aided Artur Panov, a minor holding the citizenship of Ukraine, in the preparation of a terrorist act that did not take place. Smyshlyaev has been held in custody since April 22, 2016. The Memorial Human Rights Center recognizes Maxim Smyshlyaev as political prisoner. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Vladimir Domnin

The Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized a Russian citizen Vladimir Domnin as a political prisoner. He was accused of having fought in Donbass region on Ukrainian side. We believe that Vladimir was in the war zone for a short time, but did not directly participate in war actions and does not pose danger to the society. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Vladimir Lapygin

77-year-old scientist sentenced to 7 years in a strict regime prison colony for passing software to China. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of BARS

The Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognized four residents of Kaliningrad charged in the case of the Baltic Avant-garde of the Russian Resistance (BARS) as political prisoners. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Sergei Filatov

On March 5, 2020, a Russian-controlled court in Ukraine’s Crimea sentenced Sergei Filatov, a Jehovah’s Witness from Dzhankoy, a town in the north of occupied Crimea, to six year in prison for organizing activities of an extremist organization, which, according to an investigation, consisted of “holding meetings, religious speeches, as well as promoting religious ideas.” (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Yulia Tsvetkova

Feminist artist Yulia Tsvetkova from Komsomolsk-on-Amur was accused of illegally producing and distributing pornographic materials on the Internet (Paragraph “b”, Part 3 of Article 242 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, punishable by up to six years of prison). The charges were connected to her role as an administrator of a feminist body-positive online page ‘The Vagina Monologues,’ which has published abstract depictions of female sexual organs and items similar to those either drawn by Tsvetkova or posted earlier on the Internet with the aim of removing the taboo surrounding female physiology. Tsvetkova has been under house arrest since November 23, 2019.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Olexander Shumkov

Olexander Shumkov, a Ukrainian citizen from the city of Kherson who was serving in the Ukrainian armed forces at the time of his kidnapping, was kidnapped at the border between Ukraine and Russia in August 2017. After that he was relocated to Russia and charged with committing a crime under Article 282.2, Section 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (taking part in activities of an extremist organization) on the grounds that, allegedly, he is a member of Right Sector, an organization banned in Russia. On December 4, 2018 Olexander Shumkov was convicted to 4 years of prison by a judge Victor Ruhmakov of Sevsky regional court in Branskaya oblast. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Eduard Nizamov

The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Eduard Nizamov, who was accused of heading the Russian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, as a political prisoner. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Ingush Case

Earlier this week new charges have been brought by Russian authorities against four leaders of the Ingush protest movement. A criminal case opened on December 27, 2019 implicated that eight activists and community organizers created and operated an extremist group against the republic’s authorities. In the near future, it’s expected that the others will be charged too.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Petr Parpulov

Petr Parpulov was born in 1955. A resident of the city of Sochi. From the 1980s to his detention in 2014, he worked as an air traffic control officer at the airport in Sochi although he had already reached pensionable age. He was sentenced to 12 years in a strict-regime penal colony under Article 275 (‘High treason’) of the Russian Criminal Code for divulging unidentified classified information that was nonetheless published in the newspaper ‘Krasnaya Zvezda’ (‘Red Star’) and therefore available to the general public. Parpulov has been in custody since March 4, 2014. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: Sergei Surovtsev

A criminal case of violence against government officials and the riots in Moscow, which allegedly occurred on July 27, 2019 during the largest “unsanctioned” protest rally, was opened on July 30. More than 20 people were accused during this investigation.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of the Network in Penza

The Memorial Human Rights Center, in accordance with international guidelines, recognizes the antifascists Maksim Ivankin, Vasily Kuksov, Mikhail Kulkov, Dmitry Pchelintsev, Arman Sagynbayev, Andrei Chernov, Ilya Shakursky, and Igor Shishkin as political prisoners. We demand their immediate release and that all charges against them for alleged involvement in a terrorist group be dropped.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Mark Galperin

Memorial Human Rights Center (HRC) included a well-known Russian opposition activist Mark Galperin in the list of political prisoners for the second time. Previously, Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Galperin as a political prisoner in 2018 when he was under a house arrest on charges for extremism.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Vladislav Sinitsa

The Memorial Human Rights Center recognized Vladislav Sinitsa, a Moscow-based blogger, known under the pseudonym Max Steklov, a political prisoner. On August 3, 2019, Vladislav was detained on charges of inciting hatred and hostility with the threat of violence. On September 3, a court sentenced the blogger to five years in a penal colony under paragraph A of Part 2 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: New Sentences in The Moscow Case

Today, on December 6, courts in Moscow sentenced 7 activists and participants of the summer protests against the denial of opposition candidates to run in the Moscow City parliament’s election. A few dozens of people have been charged in mass-rioting or police assault in connection with the Moscow protests.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: List of Prosecuted Muslims – Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami Members

We are presenting a summary of the most complete list of people prosecuted for their involvement in the Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami organization (hereinafter referred to as HT) in Russia and the annexed Crimea. Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami organization was recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization and banned on this basis.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Emir-Usein Kuku

The Crimean Tatars are “a Muslim ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula.” They have been among the most vocal critics of the Russian occupation of Crimea, and as a result, the Russian authorities have “relentlessly persecuted” them.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Ivan Matsitsky

Ivan Matsitsky is the spiritual leader of the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg. He has been detained since June 2017, facing criminal charges relating to his involvement with Scientology.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Yuly Boyarshinov and Viktor Filinkov

Memorial Human Rights Center (HRC), in accordance with the international guidelines defining the term ‘political prisoner,’ has recognized Yuly Boyarshinov and Viktor Filinkov as political prisoners. We demand their immediate release and that the criminal charges against them for alleged involvement in a terrorist group be dropped.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Jehovah’s Witnesses

The total number of Jehovah’s Witnesses currently being prosecuted for their faith in Russia has reached 206.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Anna Pavlikova and Konstantin Kotov

Today, we’d like to remind people who respect human rights once again about The Kremlin’s political prisoners. The very fact people are imprisoned in today’s Russia for their political and religious beliefs shouldn’t be tolerated by the world.

There is a bittersweet development we believe is important to write about today. Yesterday, Konstantin Kotov, 34, imprisoned under the “Moscow case,” married a 19-year-old suspected extremist, Anna Pavlikova, at Moscow’s infamous Matrosskaya Tishina jail.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Eduard Malyshevsky and Nikita Chirtsov

Eduard Malyshevsky and Nikita Chirtsov were the last to be detained in the Moscow Case. They have been charged under Article 318, Section 1, of the Russian Criminal Code (‘Using force against a public official without endangering life or health’).

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of the Protestors in Magas

On March 27, 2019, in Magas, Ingushetia, clashes occurred between participants of a protest rally and The National Guard (RosGvardiya) and police officers after they tried to disperse the rally. 10 police and RosGvardiya officers reportedly received various injuries. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the use of violence against law enforcement officers.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Abdulmumin Gadzhiev

Memorial Human Rights Centre, in accordance with international guidelines defining the term ‘political prisoner,’ has declared Abdulmumin Gadzhiev a political prisoner. We demand his immediate release.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Pavel Ustinov

On Thursday, September 12, 2019, a prosecutor asked the court to sentence Pavel Ustinov to six years in jail. According to investigators, the man was an active participant in an unauthorized rally in central Moscow on August 3, 2019. While under arrest, Ustinov resisted a National Guard officer causing the officer to suffer a dislocated shoulder. The defendant pleads not guilty. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Moscow Case

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Konstantin Kotov

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: #MoscowElectionCrisis The Case of Yulia Galyamina

Yulia Galyamina, a Municipal Deputy and unregistered candidate for the Moscow City Parliament, has been jailed for a third consecutive time this week on the same charge of “organizing an unsanctioned rally.” (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: #MoscowElectionCrisis Continues

Over the last weekend, as the Kremlin continued its crackdown on recent protests calling for free elections in the city, police in Moscow arrested 1,001 demonstrators, according to independent monitoring group OVD-info. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: #MoscowElectionCrisis

Fearful of independent voices even at local levels, Putin’s regime disqualified every single pro-democracy candidate from participating in the Moscow City Council elections. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of New Greatness

Ten opposition-minded residents of Moscow and Moscow region have been charged with creating an extremist group, ‘New Greatness,’ (Novoe Velichie) in December 2017, allegedly for the purposes of the violent overthrow of the government and constitutional order of Russia (Article 282.1 of the Russian Criminal Code). (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Cases of Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov

On November 5, 2017, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov attempted to hold a protest demanding the resignation of the regional government. In preparation, they had made two posters and about 30 flyers and purchased a megaphone. However, soon before they began protesting, they were arrested. They were subsequently charged with attempting to organize and participate in mass riots – punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment – and have been detained ever since. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Svyatoslav Bobyshev

Svyatoslav Bobyshev is a professor and scientist at the D. F. Ustinov Baltic State Technical University (Voenmekh). He was arrested in March 2010 and charged with treason (Criminal Code Article 275) for allegedly selling information about the Bulava missile system to China during an academic collaboration with a Chinese polytechnic institute.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Yuri Dmitriev

Yuri Dmitriev was born on January 28th, 1956 and lives in the city of Petrozavodsk. He is a historian, investigator and researcher of the burial places of victims of political repression, the chairman of the Karelian branch of the Russian civil rights society “Memorial,” and a member of the Commission for Restoring the Rights of Rehabilitated Victims of Political Repressions under the Government of the Republic of Karelia.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Alexey Pichugin

On June 4, 2020, the Orenburg Region Administration’s Commission on Pardon Issues denied pardon to former Yukos staffer Alexey Pichugin, who has been in jail since 2003. Memorial Human Rights Center has acknowledged him as a political prisoner. Pichugin is serving life in prison, and this is his third pardon denial.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Vladimir Balukh

Vladimir Balukh is a Ukrainian farmer who was convicted of illegal possession of ammunition (Criminal Code Article 222(1)) and disrupting the activities of a detention center (Article 321(2)). In reality, he is being punished for his outspoken pro-Ukraine activism. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Roman Udot

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Igor Rudnikov

Igor Rudnikov is a prominent opposition politician in the Kaliningrad region and was the editor of Noviye Kolyosa, a now-closed independent newspaper renowned for its investigative journalism, particularly on government corruption. Rudnikov has been in custody since November 1, 2017, awaiting trial on extortion charges (Criminal Code Article 163(3)). (more…)

Free Russia Foundation Statement Against Persecution of Human Rights Defenders in Occupied Crimea

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Dennis Christensen

Dennis Christensen is a Danish citizen and Jehovah’s Witness who was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on extremism charges (Criminal Code Article 282.2) in February 2019.  His case has come to represent the ongoing persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

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The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Anastasia Shevchenko

CASE UPDATE: Yesterday, September 10, 2020, was 600 days since Anastasia Shevchenko, an activist with the Open Russia movement, was placed under a house arrest. (more…)

The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: The Case of Oleg Sentsov

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Report: The Kremlin’s Political Prisoners: Advancing a Political Agenda by Crushing Dissent

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Coalition launches landmark report on the Kremlin’s political prisoners

MEDIA RELEASE (more…)

PRESS-RELEASE: the launch of the Coalition to Free the Kremlin’s Political Prisoners

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