Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Civil Rights Activists Face Criminal Prosecution

MOSCOW -- Russia's Investigative Committee has launched investigations against civil rights activist Mark Galperin, accusing him of "multiple violation of the law on public gatherings."

Galperin's lawyer, Alla Frolova, told journalists on January 20 that her client was informed about the criminal case against him the same day, but rejected the services of the lawyer provided by the authorities and refused to answer any questions using the Constitution's 51st paragraph.

The Investigative Committee said earlier that it had launched a probe against another civil rights defender, Vladimir Ionov, also accusing him of "multiple violations of the law on public gatherings."

Galperin and Ionov were arrested on January 10 for holding up a "Je Suis Charlie" sign near the Kremlin walls, expressing solidarity with French cartoonists murdered by Islamist terrorists in Paris.

On January 15, the two activists were among 15 protesters detained at an unsanctioned rally in support of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.

On January 16, a court in Moscow sentenced Galperin to 38 days in jail for both protests and fined Ionov 170,000 rubles ($2,600).

If found guilty the men may face up to five years in jail.

With reporting by

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.