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Russian Librarian Convicted of ‘Extremism’

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Rather than directing their efforts to combat extremism toward activities that genuinely deserve the label, Russian authorities seem to be using anti-extremism legislation in what is increasingly looking like a witch hunt. Already this year, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia on the grounds they are an extremist organization, and another court convicted a 22-year-old blogger on extremism charges for posting a prank video making fun of the Russian Orthodox Church.

A Moscow appellate court sends a Russian nonprofit group packing, after state-owned TV called its founder a spy

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When suing the Russian news media for defamation, it helps to be a billion-dollar state-owned oil company, instead of a blacklisted nonprofit group. That’s the lesson Nadezhda Kutepova learned this week, after an appellate court in Moscow upheld a rejection of her organization’s lawsuit against a major news company.

Russian man faces 5 years in prison for playing Pokémon Go in a church

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Ruslan Sokovsky, a Russian blogger from Yekaterinburg, was arrested on September 3, by a local court. The reason: in August, Sokolovsky posted a video on his YouTube channel showing him playing Pokémon Go—and catching actual pokémons—in the Temple on Blood, a local Orthodox church built to commemorate the murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The police considers this to be a violation of the Russian law against mockery of religious beliefs.

Crimean Tatar activist Talyat Yunusov sentenced to 3.5 years of probation

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The case of Talyat Yunusov, a Crimean Tatar activist and one of the defendants in the case ‘February 26’ has been heard at the Central District Court of Simferopol today. As a result, he was sentenced to 3.5 years of probation. It has been reported earlier that the trial of Ahtem Chiygoz, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, as well as activists of the Crimean Tatar National Movement over the ‘case on February 26’ is currently being held at the Supreme Court of Crimea in Simferopol.

Behind Bars, Out on Parole — Russia's Big 2015 Court Cases

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More than 350,000 people were convicted in Russia during the first half of 2015, according to Supreme Court data. Of those many thousands, only about 1,500 people were acquitted, and charges against about 6,000 people were dropped, statistics show.

Russia: environmental rights defender Evgeny Vitishko to be released from prison

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On 22 December 2015, the Tambov regional court confirmed the release of Russian environmental human rights defender Mr Evgeny Vitishko, who had been detained since February 2014.

Арбитраж 30 ноября приступит к рассмотрению иска ассоциации "Голос" к Минюсту

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Арбитражный суд Москвы назначил на 30 ноября предварительные слушания по заявлению Ассоциации некоммерческих организаций «В защиту прав избирателей «Голос» о признании незаконным проверки, которую проводило Главное управление Минюста РФ по Москве, говорится в определении суда.

Meanwhile in Putin's Russia, NGOs Face Oppression and Absurdity

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The Kremlin's three-year war against independent groups has been driven by government distortion and hysteria, but it just crossed a new line into the absurd. This week, as all eyes were drawn to President Putin's visit to the UN General assembly in New York and Russia's intervention in Syria, an appeals court in Moscow upheld a 600,000 ruble (approximately $10,000) fine against Human Rights Center "Memorial," one of Russia's best-known independent human rights groups, punishing the organization for something it clearly had nothing to do with.

Russia: Crimean activists sentenced after ‘fatally flawed’ military trial

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Hefty prison sentences of up to two decades handed down by a Russian military court against two Ukrainian activists today are a blatant injustice after a patently unfair trial marred by credible allegations of torture, Amnesty International said.

Opponents of Putin’s Occupation of Crimea Go on Trial in Russia

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Two high fences enclose the military court in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, where a crowd of journalists, diplomats and human rights activists were recently huddled in the 40-degree heat in a bid to get inside.

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