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Report of 'Apologia of Protest' 'Political violence as a norm. No right of opinion'

09.10.2018
The legal service “Apologia of Protest” presents report 'Political violence as a norm. No right of opinion'.

Report of 'Apologia of Protest' 'Political violence as a norm. No right of opinion'
Report of 'Apologia of Protest' 'Political violence as a norm. No right of opinion'

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of cases involving assaults on civil-society activists, politicians and journalists during the past four years. The report covers the period September 2014– early September 2018 and builds on a previous Agora study on the same issue (‘Thugs for hire in Russia: new trends in the hunt for civil-society activists’). The study, authored by lawyer Vitaly Cherkassov, was completed in September 2014. It was then followed by detailed reports produced by OVD-Info (‘Political repression in Russia 2011–2014: extra-judicial persecution’) and by the Centre for Economic and Political Reform (Political violence in modern Russia: assaults on opposition in 2012–2016’). The latter study provides a sufficiently detailed analysis of the key facts during the period 2015–2016, and since the authors are convinced that events in recent years have been shaped by new trends in a quickly changing environment, in the present report we will try to use examples from the period 2016–2018 and where necessary will refer to events from previous years which support the identified trends.

Overall, for the purposes of this report the authors have analyses more than 200 cases in which activists, journalists or politicians have been assaulted or intimidated in 54 Russian regions and in Crimea between September 2014 and September 2018. Moscow, Sankt Petersburg and Krasnodar province (krai) emerged as the absolute leaders with 52, 23 and 15 cases, respectively. Five or more cases were registered in each of the following districts (oblast): Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk and Kemerovo, and in Stavropol province. Our monitoring revealed that these 10 regions are the most dangerous ones for civic activities.

21 assaults and intimidations we reported in 2015. 35 in 2016. 77 in 2017. More than 80 such cases were registered in the first eight and a half months of 2018, including beatings at two massive protest rallies in several Russian cities.

The evidence was obtained from open sources, in particular Mediazona and OVD-Info, which provide detailed accounts of similar occurrences, and social networks, messenger services or attorneys and lawyers who cooperate with human rights organisations.


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Lawyers

More than 50 lawyers work for Agora International Human Rights Group
Vitaliy Cherkasov
Vitaliy Cherkasov
Lawyer, St. Petersburg
Damir Gainutdinov
Damir Gainutdinov
Lawyer, Moscow
Rushana Kamalova
Rushana Kamalova
Lawyer, Kazan
Dmitry Dinze
Moscow
Pavel Chikov
The head of Agora International Human Rights Group, PhD, MPA, LLM


agorarights@gmail.com
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