One of the participants of the rally in support of political prisoners with a poster. Photo: Tatyana Voltskaya (RFE/RL)

01 November 2017, 15:46

HRC "Memorial" puts 26 natives of Southern Russia on list of political prisoners

The updated lists of people recognized by the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" as political prisoners include twice as many residents from Southern Russia as a year earlier.

In October 2016, there were 102 people on the list, including 13 residents of Southern Russia and four persons from the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and the Southern Federal District (SFD). In May 2017, rights defenders reported that in Russia, the number of people persecuted for political reasons is growing.

The HRC "Memorial" prepares two lists. The first list includes those people who are considered being persecuted in connection with the right to freedom of religion, while the second list includes other political prisoners.

The recent lists of political prisoners were published by the HRC "Memorial" on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions on October 30.

Rights defenders note that during the year, 28 political prisoners were released, including Kuban activist Darya Polyudova, Bakhir Kazikhanov, a native of the town of Dagestanskie Ogni, Sochi residents Oksana Sevastidi, Annik Kesyan and Marina Djandjgava, and Astrakhan activist Igor Stenin.

During the same period, the lists of political prisoners were entered by other 45 people, including Volgograd resident Stanislav Zimovets, a participant of the protest action against corruption on March 26, sentenced to 2.5 years of imprisonment in a penal colony, and Inga Tutisani from the Krasnodar Territory, sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment for sending an SMS to a Georgian citizen about Russian warships in Abkhazia.

The list of people imprisoned for religious reasons includes eight natives of Dagestan.

The rights defenders have called on for solidarity with political prisoners. Meanwhile, they note the recognition of a person as a political prisoner does not mean their solidarity with his or her views or their approval of his or her actions.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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