Human rights defender Stanislav Dmitrievsky arrested during a protest

On 23 July 2012, in Nizhny Novgorod, local police detained human rights defender Stanislav Dmitrievsky and two other activists, for participating in a peaceful protest against the demolition of an historical building. Civil Rights Defenders urges the authorities to immediately release him and the two other activists.

A local court subsequently sentenced all three to “administrative arrest” for obstructing the demolition and failing to follow police orders. The sentence for Dmitrievsky was 12 days in detention, and for the two other activists, 7 and 5 days respectively. This is yet another indication of the increasing suppression of freedom of assembly in Russia.

Dmitrievsky is the chair of the human rights organisation – the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society. In connection with a similar protest, on 18 June 2012, a court sentenced him to 15 days of administrative arrest. The authorities have previously targeted both him and the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society for their human rights work. Furthermore, as Civil Rights Defenders has reported earlier (see links below), the authorities have also failed to protect the organisation against threats and attacks. The current arrests send yet another signal to human rights organisations in Russia that the authorities will not tolerate criticism.

Civil society in Nizhny Novgorod has reacted strongly to a number of previous demolitions of historical buildings in the city. This particular building, which was the cause of the protest on 23 July, is located in the city centre and was put on a cultural heritage list in 1999. Last year, however, local authorities removed it from the list, following what protesters say was an unlawful and corrupt procedure.

Civil Rights Defenders is deeply concerned by the arrest and apparent arbitrary detention of Stanislav Dmitrievsky and urges the authorities to immediately release him and the two other activists.

Human Rights Defenders under attack (28 March 2012)
Authorities persecute activists (7 mars 2012)

Email Cecilia Rosing, programme officer, for more information.

Categories: Statements.
Tags: Freedom of assembly and Stanislav Dmitrievsky.
Regions: Russia.