He is being prosecuted for political reasons solely because of his civil-society and political stance and for the non-violent realisation of the freedoms of expression, information and assembly.
Vyacheslav Egorov, a civil society activist from Kolomna near Moscow, born in 1977, has been charged with an offence under Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (Repeated violation of the regulations governing organisation or conduct of a public assembly, rally, demonstration, march or picket; punishable by up to five years’ deprivation of liberty). Vyacheslav Egorov has been under house arrest since 2 February 2019.
In 2018 Vyacheslav Egorov was an active member of a protest group seeking to «Stop the Waste Dump in Kolomna» and he spoke out against the excessive use of the Volovichi dump for household waste. For these activities, over a six-month period Egorov was prosecuted three times under Article 20.2 of the Russian Administrative Law Code (Violation of the established regulations governing organisation or conduct of a public assembly, rally, demonstration, march or picket). This subsequently provided the grounds for his criminal prosecution under Article 212.1 for a social media post urging those interested to attend an open session of Kolomna town court on 13 December 2018 where politicians Dmitry and Gennady Gudkov were to be tried for an administrative offence under Article 20.2.
Vyacheslav Egorov’s prosecution under Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code is essentially unlawful and political in nature. This article violates the fundamental principles of law and imposes groundless restrictions, impermissible in a democratic society, on freedom of assembly, in contradiction with Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Moreover, Egorov’s prosecution even contradicts the position of the Russian Constitutional Court since his actions caused no damage to health, property, the environment, public order or safety, or other values protected by the Constitution, nor did they represent any threat to them.
At the same time, Egorov’s prosecution is unlawful because the specific charges laid against him of violating the regulations on the organisation and conduct of public events, that provide the grounds for the criminal prosecution, are unsubstantiated. The relevant court decisions concerning the alleged violations of administrative law were evidently biased and handed down with blatant violations of the law.
The character of the events and publications for which Egorov is being prosecuted, which are in opposition to the current political authorities, also bears witness to the political nature of the prosecution. Moreover, according to Egorov and his lawyer Maria Eismont (in statements published in the spring and summer of 2018), the head of Kolomna police department, Zverev, repeatedly threatened Egorov with imprisonment if he ‘did not do as he was told.’
We consider Vyacheslav Egorov a political prisoner. He is being prosecuted for political reasons solely because of his civil-society and political stance and for the non-violent realisation of the freedoms of expression, information and assembly, guaranteed by the Russian Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Moreover, his right to a fair trial has been violated.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner, or of a prosecution as politically motivated, does not imply that Memorial Human Rights Centre shares or approves the individual’s views, statements or actions.
For more information on the case of Vyacheslav Egorov, see the website of Memorial Human Rights Centre.
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