Updated list of political prisoners in the Russian Federation
A new list of political prisoners in Russia has just been published by Memorial Human Rights Centre. The list now comprises 86 names. 9 people have been released since October 2015, but 45 have been added to the list. Only four of those released were freed before serving the full term of their sentence in prison. The most famous of the released political prisoners is the Russian environmental activist Evgeniy Vitishko, who was imprisoned due to his protests surrounding the Olympic constructions in Sochi, and the Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.
Whereas Vitishko was released from prison with restrictions to his liberty, Savchenko was exchanged with the two Russian officers Capt. Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Sgt. Aleksandr Aleksandrov. Upon returning to their respective countries Savchenko was met by crowds as a war hero and granted a medal for heroism by President Poroshenko, whereas the Russians were greeted by their wives at the airport and a message that President Putin had no intent to meet them.
The updated list of political prisoners contains cases of those currently detained or imprisoned on politically motivated charges. The list has been drawn up according to the criteria set out in PACE Resolution No. 1900, from 3 October 2012.
The political prisoners represent a very wide range of groups that have become victims of political repression by the State; human rights defenders and activists; Bolotnaya Case demonstrators in particular; political opposition; religious activists or believers; journalists and bloggers; Labour Union activists, and cases related to espionage and Ukraine.
The latter is illustrated in the cases of the Crimean Tatars Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhi, the Ukrainian citizens Stanislav Klykh, Nikolai Karpiuk and Sergei Litvinov, and the cases of Andrei Bubeev, Darya Poliudova and Natalya Sharina that are linked to the authorities’ anti-Ukrainian campaign.
But also religious believers have been repressed, in particular Muslims who peacefully sought to exercise their right to freedom of conscience and association. In the past 6 months alone, 27 individuals have been added to the list of political prisoners on grounds of belonging to a terrorist group.
The list of political prisoners in the Russian federation is far from exhaustive, and those charged with membership of the organization Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islami, banned in Russia as a terrorist organization, is the least fully represented on the list.
See the full list here