Well-known human rights defender Stanislav Dmitriyevsky is sentenced to a fine


17 August 2011

Today at 9.30 the verdict under the case of famous human rights defender Stanislav Dmitriyevsky has been pronounced in Nizhny Novgorod. The court has obliged him to pay a fine of 1000 rubles.

You may remember that in the context of a Strategy 31 rally Stanislav Dmitriyevsky and a group of likeminded people gathered in Svoboda Square holding the Russia Constitution in their hands. At the same time, there were no slogans, banners, speeches or actions which could potentially disturb public order during that “unauthorized” assembly, which, in fact, was not even a public action. Nevertheless, the police demanded to stop the “unlawful” event using a loudspeaker. The group did not obey the police, as they presumed that demonstration of the Russian Constitution in public was not prohibited in the country. After that the action was dispersed by the police, at least 16 participants were detained and taken to Police Department no.5 (former Nizhegorodsky District Department of Internal Affairs), three of them were subjected to 5 days of administrative arrest. At the same time, Stanislav Dmitriyevsky received a copy of an administrative detention protocol prepared by police officer Lyadov who had recently been found eligible for police service, the protocol read (author’s grammar and spelling preserved): “In Svoboda Square, in the park neer the monument, Mr. Dmitriyevsky S.M. has desobeyed the legal riquirement of a police officer regarding the unlawful riquirement of the unauthorized meating”Similar documents were prepared in respect of three other civil activists: Anna Kuznetsova, Ekaterina Zaitseva, and “The Other Russia” activist Ilya Shamazov.

On August 1. the four detainees appeared before the Nizhnegorodsky district magistrates’ court. During the hearing chaired by Vladimir Remizov, three human rights defenders, but for Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, were sentenced to 5 days of administrative arrest. At the same time, no witnesses were summoned to the court room. Dmitriyevsky filed a motion for transferring the hearing to a court closer to his place of residence, the motion was dismissed. His other motion for postponing the hearing until the district court adjudicated on Dmitriyevsky’s complaint about the dispersal of the rally was also dismissed. To justify the dismissal of the second motion, judge Vladimir Remizov explained that the order of the police “to break up” had been lawful “at that moment” irrespective of whether or not the authorities’ decision prohibiting the rally had been lawful. Then the judge asked Dmitriyevsky whether he understood the charge against him and tried to read the protocol. While the protocol was extremely illiterate, the court decided to return the document to the police for revision and to postpone the hearing.

It must be noted that last year the Russian Supreme Court Plenum issued a decree prohibiting submission of administrative protocols for revision and correction of mistakes at the stage of judicial proceedings. It is only possible at the pre-trial stage; in case significant defects are disclosed during the judicial examination, the judge is obliged to terminate the proceedings.

Nevertheless, the following day Stanislav Dmitriyevsky was summoned to Judicial District no.4, the chairman was Larisa Akimova. During the hearing she stated that the administrative offense protocol and other documents had been prepared correctly, and available documentation was sufficient to examine the case on the merits.

At the same time, the protocol had been corrected, however, not without spelling mistakes. For instance, the word “desobeyed” had been crossed out and substituted for “ain’t complied. To add weight to the document, the proof-reader had noted “alteracion aprovedFinally, Stanislav Dmitriyevsky produced a copy of the previous protocol obtained following its preparation. The hearing was rescheduled for August 15, and later – for August 16. In the long run, the court failed to find a good reason to arrest Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, and he was sentenced to a fine of 1000 rubles, which has again demonstrated that the desire of the authorities to punish a persona non grate can outweigh the requirements of law.

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