08 February 2019, 22:40
HRC "Memorial" recognizes Rostov activist Anastasia Shevchenko as political prisoner
Rostov activist Anastasia Shevchenko was arrested for her political views and participation in peaceful assemblies, stated the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". The criminal proceedings against the activist prove preparation of a new wave of repression, rights defenders believe.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 21, Anastasia Shevchenko, a member of the Open Russia's Federal Council, was detained after a search of her apartment in Rostov-on-Don. While Anastasia Shevchenko was under arrest, her 17-year-old disabled daughter died in hospital. On February 7, the court dismissed the defence arguments that Anastasia Shevchenko was to take children to school and care for her elderly mother and left the activist under house arrest.
Anastasia Shevchenko is suspected of involvement in an organization recognized undesirable in Russia. The human rights organization "Amnesty International" (AI) recognized the activist as a prisoner of conscience.
According to the HRC "Memorial", the very article incriminated to Anastasia Shevchenko proves the activist is being prosecuted for political reasons. "By itself, the principle of 'undesirable organizations' ... implies arbitrary use and contradicts the fundamental principles of law," the rights defenders state.
The case against Anastasia Shevchenko was instituted for her involvement in a meeting of the Open Russia and a rally against the participation of Vladimir Putin in the presidential election of 2018, although those acts were legal manifestations of public activity, the HRC "Memorial" notes.
The Anastasia Shevchenko's case is the first criminal case instituted under Article "Activities of an organization recognized as undesirable in Russia," noted the AI. The maximum sanction stipulated by the article is six years of imprisonment.