Reports and articles
About the All-Russia public movement ‘For Human Rights’
Who turns to the movement for help
Who violates the rights and freedoms of individuals
How the movement works with individuals on their cases
Defending the rights of men and women in business
Information agency ‘For Human Rights’
Defending the rights of detainees
Legal clinic work and the ‘Hot Line’
Executive Director of the movement, Lev Aleksandrovich Ponomarev
Address of the Movement ‘For Human Rights’
One more representative of the repressed class of Russian entrepreneurs
Vitaly Arkhangelsky case
Chronicles (atricles and issues on political persecution and actual situation on human rights in present-day Russia)
Resolutions of the Third All-Russia Congress for Human Rights 10.12.2007
On Political Persecution in Russia
It is necessary to stop the state terror in the North Caucasus
There is a need for civil resistance to lawlessness, dictates and arbitrariness in the name of protection of human rights and freedoms
Reports and articles
Review: Human Rights Situation in the Russian Federation, 2004-2008.
Prepared for the UN Human Rights Council
by the All-Russia Public Movement “For Human Rights” jointly with the
Foundation “In Defenc e of Rights of Prisoners”
Repressions in Nowadays Russia – Political Prisoners and New Gulag Report presented at the Conference “A Different Russia”
New GULAG: on violation of the rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation for protection against torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms)
Russia bludgeoned: a chronicle
Stepchildren of the State of Russia
Politically Motivated Legal Cases In Present Day Russia
Declarations and appeals to international organizations
Stop the war in the North Caucasus!
The statement of The 5th Congress of the All-Russian Public movement «For human rights»
15 years ago the first war in the Chechen republic has begun. From this point on four republics of the North Caucasus have been at various times captured by the armed actions of various intensity, including furious fights both the massed bombardments and shellings of cities from outside federal forces. The destruction and inconceivable sufferings of many hundreds thousand people became a result of it. There was such frightening phenomenon as the state terror, there were «death squadrons».
Today it is obvious – the policy spent by the Russian authorities on caucasus has failed.
Last wave of acts of terrorism, abductions and murders in republics of the North Caucasus which occur in Dagestan and Ingushetia almost daily, act of terrorism against «the Neva express train», have brought an attention to the question on the summons: whether there are we before prospect long-term decaying guerrilla war.
It is obvious that such succession of events will have absolutely catastrophic character, not only for region, but also for all country.
The reason of the accruing crisis phenomena in republic of the North Caucasus is the following:
1. The armed underground (usual designations - НВФ , "band" does not reflect all complex of senses) has got accurate considerably-religious self-identification. Among other, it receives serious ideological feed because looks as "the internationalist" current removing existing interethnic stress.
2. Prosecution of religious opposition objectively pushes dissidents to the armed underground as each of them suspects that can become the following victim of reprisals.
3. Objectively developed local mass anticorruption movement especially shown in Dagestan and Ingushetia turns to spontaneous movement to sweep to law enforcement officers, when rough infringements of human rights from their party (abduction, пыточные methods of interrogations, extrajudicial executions) objectively provoke aspiration to vendetta, transform agents of national security in the opinion of the population into actually one more terrorist grouping.
4. Any attempts to protest against the negative phenomena attract on protesting persecutions and even reprisals. At the same time the armed underground represents itself as defenders of interests of the people.
We can see an accruing polarisation when the authorities of North Caucasian republics, having knocked down or seriously having blocked intersystem opposition and pursuing critics of the mode: politicians, journalists, legal experts, create a situation of political polarisation when the person appears before a drama choice:
- to be with establishment and, thereby, to shut eyes to actual usurpation of the power by clan groupings, on total corruption and lawlessness, on prosecutions for religious or political views to accept careful культивирование ethnic and subethnic distinctions and oppositions;
- Or to some extent to identify itself with the armed underground.
As a result armed underground in republics of the North Caucasus has had an opportunity to unite or win round as supporters of many of those who believes itself the radical opponent of an existing state of affairs.
Thus it is necessary to recognise that strategy of moral and ideological isolation of the armed underground on caucasus, exposing it as threat not only to the state, but also to each legislative citizen – has failed!
The main error of all authorities, political problem political and ideological radicalism, is an immediate acceptance of frightening, "draconian" measures, tactics of "collective punishments», the strict ideological censorship and "inquisitorial" prosecutions of "dangerous" dogmas. Such actions, spent it is total, certainly, give temporary recession of indignation, but then the conflict finds new quality and the fierce armed struggle against many thousand victims which can last very long time begins, bringing people incalculable sufferings.
Within the limits of such "draconian" strategy the policy « подверстывания » to terrorism of any cases of attacks on representatives of the power, including caused by personal relations or clan collisions is usually spent. Actually it leads to that all those who considers itself suffered from concrete officials, start to feel themselves «as fighters with a mode».
Such polarisation well-known in the history and, as a rule, it means total civil confrontation.
All it means that other, as presence in Dagestan and Ingushetia of preconditions for a revolutionary situation. Political stability in the Chechen Republic is reached only at the expense of realisation by Kadyrov's group as a matter of fact of the totalitarian power.
If we want the situation in republic of the North Caucasus began to leave deadlock, the political will and acceptance of variety of firm and system decisions is necessary.
If we want that the terrorism and extremist activity were not perceived as the compelled position of protection of a society in the conditions of total lawlessness as the answer to the state violence, it is very important to direct all energies to prevention of an arbitrariness, mockeries, tortures and to that similar from outside law enforcement bodies.
Demonstrative struggle against tortures and corruption from outside law enforcement officers, publicity at investigation, safety for victims and witnesses - one of the most serious blows for the extremism and terrorism reasons. The state always should act as the defender of the concrete person, instead of as «a part of brutal system pressing it».
It is necessary to create system «hot lines» under references with complaints to legality infringements from outside law enforcement bodies, courts and supervising instances are strengthened.
The use of weapons and life and health threatening special methods against peace citizens even if they and make actions of civil disobedience should be completely excluded.
It is necessary to cancel urgently an anticonstitutional interdiction on peace исповедование any religious direction, including "vahhabism".
The separate administrative structure on management and coordination of structures of federal bodies in republics of the North Caucasus should be created.
The civil minister in the rank of the first vice-premier should head this structure, in its frameworks there should be a coordination of actions of agents of national security and carrying out to the federal budgetary policy in region. Should be created and the separate device of Investigatory committee of Office of Public Prosecutor across the North Caucasus.
It is necessary to achieve maintenance of conformity of actions for struggle against the terrorism, undertaken by the state structures, as regarding standard base, and practice, to the international standards in the field of human rights, the Geneva Conventions and Instructions of the Council of Europe on human rights in struggle against terrorism.
It is necessary to achieve granting of effective lawyer and judicial protection and indemnifications to victims of infringements of human rights.
In connection with absence of the law victims of act of terrorism, considering constant threat of acts of terrorism, to address on behalf of V congress ООД “For human rights” with the statement in the Federation Council (where already there is a bill discussion) to pass the law on the status of victims of acts of terrorism.
It is necessary to provide existence possibility in republics of the North Caucasus of public oppositional associations, legitimate and respected in the opinion of the power and party in power.
Human Rights organizations and the independent mass-media severely criticising of the power, are the natural ally in struggle against terrorism and the armed extremism - acting from humanistic legal positions, they objectively create an ideological counterbalance to radicalism and the armed violence.
We urge the authorities of North Caucasian republics to begin substantial dialogue with opposition forces, even radical, but essentially denying violence in the politician, to create for them possibility legally to state the positions and to get access to mass-media, a public, political life, administrative activity.
We demand immediately to stop the roughest infringements of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and to enter actions of power structures into a lawful channel.
We insist on careful investigation of all illegal actions.
We divide fears of human rights organizations of republics of the North Caucasus about strengthening of positions of Kadyrov in other republics of the North Caucasus.
We urge the Russian authorities to make use of successful experience on a peaceful settlement of conflicts to separatists in Spain and Great Britain.
We address to working group on monitoring of problems in the North Caucasus as a part of V.P.Lukin, E.A.Pamfilova, N.K.Svanidze, L.M.Alekseeva with the request to support our statement.
The destiny of the North Caucasus and destiny of the Russian state in many respects depends on acceptance of the listed measures as a whole for many decades. These measures should be spent urgently and to interrelations among themselves.
Appeal on the Lebedev-Khodorkovsky case directed to Medvedev,
the Supreme Court, lawyers and entrepreneurs
Moscow, 2 November 2009 – addressed today to the address of chairman of the Supreme Court of Russia Vyacheslav Lebedev, president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, president of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the RF Yevgeny Semenyako, as well as president of the RSPP Alexander Shokhin and chairman of «Delovaya Rossiya» Boris Titov is the appeal "Stop the disgraceful farce!", adopted at the Public Hearings "Six years of imprisonment of Khodorkovsky-Lebedev: a crisis of power, the judicial system, society?", which took place on 23 October 2009 in the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center.
Several hundred signatures have already been gathered under the appeal, first and foremost those of participants in the public monitoring of the Lebedev – Khodorkovsky trial. The process of gathering signatures continues.
Below is the text of the appeal in its entirety:
Stop the disgraceful farce!
An appeal by participants in the public monitoring of the Lebedev - Khodorkovsky trial
Heeding the call of the International Committee for the Protection of Russian Political Prisoners, people of the most varied views and professions have taken part in public monitoring of the trial of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky.
Many of them have publicly expressed their most vivid impressions, speaking about the flagrant absurdity, a trial Kafkaesque in spirit, the mockery of justice.
When this trial was being prepared, we were aware of the contrived nature and absurdity of the charges being laid of the theft of hundreds of millions of tonnes of oil.. Therefore, it was very important to bring the attention of the public and to make an object of openness those violations of the law, those subterfuges, by which this farce is going to be accompanied.
Unfortunately, reality did not deceive our expectations, and now continuing in the Khamovnichesky Court is something which, without particular exaggeration, can be called a public debasement of justice. At the stage of the presentation of evidence, for many months in a row representatives of the state prosecution were reading out arbitrary citations from the 188 volumes of the cases. They, as a rule, did not bother themselves with an explanation of what fact or what circumstance the citation made proves. Sometimes they gave the presiding judge a hundred-page material for review, i.e. for a couple of minutes, etc. This continues even today, during the questioning of witnesses… The prosecution is making every effort to impede the defense in participating in full measure in the questioning of witnesses. They constantly interrupt the defendants and their lawyers; accuse [them] of exerting «psychological influence» on witnesses. In so doing, they themselves literally impose formulations of answers onto witnesses, etc. It is difficult to call all this anything else but a defiant disrespect for the court.
And while the representatives of the state prosecution pretend to present evidence, perhaps waiting for what kind of decision is going to be adopted by the bosses in relation to the fate of the defendants, judge Danilkin is fated to serve as a decoration of justice.
Right now, the obvious paralysis of the trial in the Khamovnichesky Court is showing the entire world that in our country, the court nearly always walks on the prosecution’s leash, and that there simply can not be any talk at all about any serious evidence of the guilt of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.
Mister Chairman of the Supreme Court of Russia!
Visit the Khamovnichesky Court as a spectator. Perhaps your presence alone will help the presiding judge rigorously follow procedural principles. At any rate, the experience you will gain will no doubt be very valuable in the preparation for a Plenum of the Supreme Court dedicated to questions of the observance of the rights of defendants and ensuring procedural equality of arms.
Mister President of the Russian Federation!
You have expressed an aspiration to give a new impetus to transformations of our country on the foundations of law, you lament the indifference of society to the protection of rights, the low prestige of our justice. Choose a time and drive down to the Khamovnichesky Court. The entire picture of domestic justice with all its shortcomings will be as if in the palm of your hand. Herein you will be at a «demonstrational-show» trial, where thanks to the attention of the whole world the rights of the defendants and the defense, as well as of journalists and citizens attending the trial, are observed in a significantly greater degree than in other courts of Russia. Well, and if you are unable to attend the Khamovnichesky Court due to an excessive load of affairs of state, then ask a person you trust and on whose opinion about questions of legal reforms you totally rely on to attend it. We are convinced that the impressions received will play an important role in the preparation of that section of your address to the Federal Assembly which will be devoted to questions of strengthening law and developing the judicial system in our country.
We address domestic jurists, including judges, lawyers, legal scholars, workers of the law-enforcement system, with a call to attend the trial of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky - it is imperative that you see for yourselves the trial that will determine the fate of justice in our country for many years, either bringing back hope in the law, or striking it [the law] out for a long time to come.
We invite representatives of the business community to this trial, first and foremost members of the RSPP – it is imperative for you to see with your own eyes what specifically, which business and financial operations the procuracy considers criminal, and how it is attempting to substantiate this. We are confident – this will be very instructive!
We are not taking it upon ourselves to judge how our powers are going to extricate themselves from that juridical cul-de-sac into which they have driven themselves with the second Lebedev-Khodorkovsky case.
We hope that they will find a worthy exit from the situation, that experienced jurists will remember that by Russian laws, a pardon by the President does not require either the submission of a plea or an admission of guilt on the part of the convict.
We are convinced that the lessons of this trial will serve as the foundation for very serious changes in the activity of the procuracy and the court. It is obvious that precisely the outcome of this trial will play a role of principle in whether our state will turn out to be prepared in deed to recognize the principle of «supremacy of the law», our country is capable of finding a path towards civilized democratic development, or not.
We demand a stop to the disgraceful trial and the release of Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Ludmilla Alexeeva, Chairwoman, Moscow Helsinki group
Sergey Alexashenko, director of macroeconomic research, GU-VSh-7
Liya Akhedjakova, actress
Natella Boltyanskaya, journalist
Valery Borshchev, member, Moscow Helsinki group
Alla Bossart, writer
Svetlana Gannushkina, Chairwoman, Committee for civil assistance
Yevgeny Gontmakher, economist
Lev Gudkov, director, Levada-Centre
Leonid Gozman, co-chairman, «Right cause» Party
Lidiya Grafova, writer
Boris Dubin, section head, Levada-Centre
Yuri Djibladze, president, Center for the development of democracy and human rights
Alexander Daniel, member, Management Board, International «Memorial»
Dmitry Zimin, founder, «Dinastiya» Foundation
Igor Irteniev, writer
Alexey Kondaurov, Bureau member, National assembly of the RF
Sergey Kovalev, Chairman, A.Sakharov Foundation
Dmitry Katayev, co-chairman, All-Moscow movement «Housing Solidarity»
Vladimir Korsunsky, editor-in-chief «Grani.Ru»
Vladimir Milov, president, Institute of Energy Policy,
Boris Nadezhdin, department head, MFTI
Alla Nazimova, sociologist
Dmitry Oreshkin, member, Council under the President of the RF for assisting the development of civil society and human rights institutions
Alexander Osovtsov, lawyer, bureau member, United Civic Front
Lev Ponomarev, All-Russia Public Movement «For human rights»
Andrei Piontkovsky, writer
Yuri Ryzhov, academician, Russian Academy of Sciences
Arseny Roginsky, chairman, Management Board, International society «Memorial»
Yuri Samodurov, curator of exhibition projects
Georgy Satarov, president, INDEM Foundation
Zoya Svetova, journalist
Alexey Simonov, president, Glasnost defense foundation
Sergey Sorokin, judicial expert,
Natalia Tochilnikova, writer
Mikhail Trepashkin, lawyer, chief of department for the protection of the unlawfully convicted, All-Russian organization "Commission for the struggle with corruption"
Natalia Fateyeva, actress
Ernst Cherny, responsible secretary, Public committee for the defense of scientists
Viktor Sheynis, professor, member, Political committee, "Yabloko" Party
Viktor Shenderovich, writer
Mikhail Schneider, responsible secretary, Federal Political Committee, United democratic movement «Solidarity»
Igor G. Yakovenko, doctor of philological sciences, professor
clergyman Gleb Yakunin, Public committee for the defense of freedom of conscience
Yevgeny Yasin, president, «Liberal mission» Foundation
Igor Yasulovich, actor
and many others
Moscow, 2 November 2009
Open letter to the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev
In the course of your presidential campaign you often talked about how important it is for Russia to follow the principle of rule of law. Your words drew our close attention, for they correspond to our understanding of priorities.
We are convinced that cases of politically motivated criminal persecutions and court decisions are not compatible with the principle of rule of law.
This is why we are asking you to do all you can to free the people who in our opinion became victims of politically motivated persecution – by granting them a pardon.
As a first step, we are asking you to grant a pardon to the following Russian citizens:
Igor Sutyagin, sentenced to 15 years (Article 275 of the Criminal Code).
Valentin Danilov, sentenced to 13 years (Article 275 of the Criminal Code).
Igor Reshetin, member of the Academy of Cosmonautics, General Director of TsNIIMash-Export, sentenced to 11.5 years; Sergey Vizir, sentenced to 11 years; Aleksandr Rozhkin, sentenced to 5 years; Mikhail Ivanov, sentenced to 5 years.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sentenced to 8 years.
Platon Lebedev, sentenced to 8 years.
Alexei Pichugin, serving a life sentence.
Vasily Aleksanyan, executive vice-president of YUKOS, arrested on April 6, 2006. He was accused of money laundering (Article 174.1, part 4) and embezzlement (Article 160). Aleksanyan, who is seriously ill, is currently held in a hospital under arrest.
Svetlana Bakhmina, deputy chief of the legal department of YUKOS. Arrested on December 7, 2004. Sentenced to 8 years.
Rustem Ilgizovich Shaidullin, born 1987 in the city of Aznakayevo, the Republic of Tatarstan, a third-year student of a professional lyceum in the city of Aznakayevo, who in 2006 was sentenced to 6 years in a general-regime colony – allegedly for a so-called “Islamic Jamaat” case but in fact for a participation in a picnic in the countryside together with young Muslims.
Zara Murtazaliyeva, insurance agent, student of the Pyatigorsk Linguistic Institute. Murtazaliyeva was born in Naursky region of the Chechen Republic in 1983. Arrested in Moscow on March 4, 2004. Sentenced to 8.5 years for alleged intent to carry out a terrorist act.
Zaurbek Talkhigov, born in Shali, Shali region of Chechen-Ingush Republic in 1977. Sentenced to 8.5 years for an attempt to help free hostages at the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow in October 2002.
According to the Russian legislation the President of the Russian Federation has a right to pardon a prisoner without a demand to admit his guilt.
We are familiar with details of the cases of each prisoner listed above and we have serious reasons to believe that prosecution in all of them was politically motivated.
This list of Russian political prisoners is far from complete; we chose those who received the harshest sentences and those whose cases received significant public attention.
The list is incomplete evidently - other political prisoners, in particular members of "Another Russia" (14 persons, at the moment) coalition, some businessmen and others are not listed there.
We hope that the pardon procedure will be applied to them as well.
Mr. President, by starting your presidential term with granting a pardon to political prisoners you would open a new page in the history of Russia. This would restore the trust in fairness and independence of the judicial system that our country desperately needs today.
L. M. Alekseyeva, Moscow Helsinki Group
S. A. Gannushkina, “Civil Assistance”
S. A. Kovalev, Sakharov Foundation
L. A. Ponomarev, Movement “For Human Rights”
Yu. A. Ryzhov, Academician, Russian Academy of Sciences
Yu. V. Samodurov, Museum and Public Centre named after Andrey Sakharov
A. K. Simonov, Glasnost Defense Foundation
E. I. Cherny, Committee for Protection of Scientists
G. P. Yakunin, Committee for Defence of Freedom of Conscience
The Appeal is supported by:
N.Yu. Belykh, political party “Union of Right Forces”
Rudolf Bindig, Honorary Associate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe (PACE); former Co-Rapporteur for Russia in the PACE;
former Member of Parliament of the German Bundestag (1976 - 2005)
Vaclav Havel, Czech Republic President, Nobel Peace Prize winner
Andre Glucksmann, Writer
Frank Judd, Member of the House of Lords
Appeal on the Lebedev-Khodorkovsky case directed to Medvedev,
the Supreme Court, lawyers and entrepreneurs