More than 100 participants in an opposition rally detained in St Petersburg
In flagrant violation of the right of peaceful assembly enshrined in its own constitution, as well as in international conventions to which Russia is a signatory, the Russian authorities continue to stamp down on any opposition to the present regime
Anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow crushed
As feared, riot squads [OMON] used force to detain dozens of opposition activists in Moscow on Saturday 14 April, including the former world chess champion and leader of the United Civic Front Garry Kasparov.
“Memorial” issues a statement regarding the ban on the March of those in dissent
In any democratic country such a march is a normal event. However the Russian State has over recent years been moving further and further away from the principles of democracy and has become ever more cynical in disregarding the rights and freedoms of its citizens. In todays Russia opposition marches are banned and violently dispersed.
Belarusian opposition draws up draft reforms to the Constitution
The Belarusian opposition has prepared a “Small Constitution” – a Draft of constitutional reforms which it plans to send to the Council of Europes Venice Commission for its assessment
The Russian authorities are violating peoples right to organize rallies and marches
According to many observers, the Kremlin is trying to neutralize the real opposition.. Parties and politicians wanting to retain any public presence are being asked to publicly ostracize all those who really are in opposition. This taming of some and marginalization of others, experts say, is virtually ravaging the Russian political field.
Rally in solidarity with victims of repression
A rally was held on Saturday 7 April at Pushkin Square in Moscow to show solidarity for victims of repression. Those present remembered Anna Politkovskaya murdered six months ago today, as called for the release of Russian political prisoner Mikhail Trepashkin who turned 50 today.
Russian Penal Service refuses to reveal Yury Budanovs whereabouts
It is unclear where ex-colonel Yury Budanov, serving a sentence for the murder of Elza Kungaeva, a young Chechen woman*, is at the present time, or whether in fact he is still imprisoned.
Twenty five years on Soviet-type violations are reappearing
The International Helsinki Federations annual report is particularly critical of Russias human rights record recently It speaks of attempts to limit the influence of opposition forces and politically motivated persecution of opponents; misuse of anti-extremism legislation to put pressure on civil society; and restrictions of the rights to freedom of speech, assembly and association.
Minsk imprisons a Ukrainian for supporting the opposition
The Central District Court in Minsk imprisoned the Ukrainian woman for three days for distributing leaflets with a picture of opposition leader Aleksandr Milinkevich on 25 March (Freedom Day!)
In Kyiv Ukrainians expressed solidarity with Belarusians through a specific skiing race on asphalt for the “Lukashenko Cup”.
The race was used to symbolize the policy of the Belarusian President and to express protest that Ukraines President Yushchenko is holding dialogue with Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Demonstrators in Minsk dispersed with water cannons
The Belarusian oppositions protest on Sunday in Minsk to mark Freedom Day ended with its being broken up and some of those participated being detained.
Opposition march in Nizhny Novgorod (Russia) broken up, with more than 200 detained
According to the Deputy Governor of the region the march was "not of interest". One wonders whether thats why 20 thousand police and riot police were mobilized, the action dispersed and more than 200 people detained, some apparently beaten up
Russian Prosecutor General appeals against the Khodorkovsky “case” being heard in Moscow
The Basmanny Courts (unprecedented) ruling upholding the law and right for people to be charged where the alleged “offences” took place, and the constitutional right to defence, one would have thought difficult to contest, however …
Investigation into the Khodorkovsky “case” in Chita declared unlawful
Moscows Basmanny Court on 20 March accepted that the investigation had to be carried out in Moscow where the activities Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev are charged with allegedly took place and stated hat transferring the criminal investigation to Chita was a violation of the constitutional right to defence
March 20, 2007: Worldwide Reading – in memoriam of Anna Politkovskaya
An appeal for a worldwide reading of Anna Politkovskayas reports on Chechnya. The journalist and critic of Putin was assassinated on October 7, 2006.
Belarusian “flash mob”
On 19 March a year ago, tens of thousands of people came out onto October Square to protest against the arrests that had taken place just before the elections. 1,318, as it later became known, spent that day behind bars. A year later youth activists decided to remember that date and honour those who suffered repression.
Call to pardon Igor Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov
Russian human rights defenders and public figures have addressed an appeal to President Putin, asking him to pardon the scientists Igor Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov, sentenced to 15 and 13 years respectively on charges of spying.
Belarusian opposition plans protests to mark the first anniversary of Lukashenkos election to a third presidential term
A year after the rigged presidential elections in Belarus which led to mass protest and repressive measures from the authorities, the opposition is adamant that it will not be cowered
On Belarus Solidarity Day pickets were held In Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
"When [those who persecute us] find out and see that its not just some inexplicable opposition supporter whom you can give the order to “squeeze”, and that its really a person whom others remember and who get letters from all over the world – that totally changes their attitude.”