Press Release — HRF to Russia: Free Peaceful Protesters and Annul Their Convictions
On June 12, Russian police detained more than 1,720 people, including minors, during peaceful demonstrations across the country. Dinar Idrisov was arrested while trying to provide legal support for the detainees.
"In Putin’s Russia, peaceful protesters are arrested, journalists and dissenters attacked and murdered, fair elections and other pillars of democracy are destroyed. These are the acts of a regime that is terrified of its own people,” said HRF Chairman Garry Kasparov. “Dinar Idrisov is one of the courageous patriots who risk their lives and freedom to fight for a better, freer Russia. We welcome his release, and applaud his commitment to defending the dozens of wrongfully convicted activists who remain in Russian prisons as political prisoners,” added Kasparov.
The June 12 arrests were accompanied by multiple instances of police violence and pervasive due process violations, including summary trials. More than 600 people were arrested at the protest in St. Petersburg on June 12, and when the trials started on June 13, activists reported that the detainees were being subjected to “kangaroo court” trials, in which the judge spent less than a minute on each case. Detainees were denied access to legal defenders, and the defenders and witnesses were intentionally misled about the time and location of the trials.
On June 13, rights activist Dinar Idrisov was the only legal defender that managed to attend the trials at the Dzerzhinsky District Court of St. Petersburg. When Dinar attempted to speak with the detainees whose legal defenders were not allowed inside, a judge denied him access to the detainees and ordered his arrest. Dinar was accused of failure to follow the order of a judge and was ordered to leave the court. As he was leaving the building, an unidentified person threw a bottle at him. Following the incident Dinar was arrested again and forced back inside the court building. After a closed-door hearing on the night of June 14, he was accused of “petty hooliganism” for allegedly swearing at the police and sentenced to 14 days of administrative arrest. Dinar denied the accusation. He was transported to the detention facility with a sack over his head.
On June 15, Dinar began a dry hunger strike, demanding the resignation of St. Petersburg’s police commissioner and the leadership of St. Petersburg’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the night of June 19, Dinar was hospitalized. Despite doctors’ recommendations, he was taken back to the detention center on June 21. On June 22, his arrest was extended for two days to make up for the time that he spent in the hospital. This decision was made behind closed doors, in Dinar’s absence.
Two days later Dinar updated his hunger strike demands in a video statement in which he called attention to political repressions in Russia: “I don’t have illusions about my demands [for resignations] being satisfied [...] The main goal of my hunger strike is to appeal to society, to opinion leaders, encouraging them to publicly support the following statements: One, that Russia has begun mass political repressions [...] Two, to publicly condemn the return to the Soviet practice of kangaroo courts.”
On June 29, Dinar was released from detention.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.
Contact: Prachi Vidwans, (212) 246-8486, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contribute to activists’ legal fees and reach out to Russian authorities to demand their release.
The following organizations are providing legal help to the detainees. Make a donation for legal fees to:
OVD-Info monitors violation during public events and maintains a 24-hour hotline.
Open Russia provides legal help to the detainees.
HRF is also willing to introduce representatives of the media to the lawyers and public defenders assisting the detainees.
Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN
Address: 136 East 67 street, New York, NY 10065
Phone: +1(212) 861-4900
Fax: +1(212) 628-0252