Urgent Action: Charges Against Activists Must Be Dropped (Russian Federation: UA 154.19)

The trial against Yana Antonova, a human rights defender from Krasnodar, southern Russia, started on 7 November. She has been targeted for her peaceful activism and charged under the “undesirable organizations” legislation. If convicted, she will face up to six years in prison.



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Yuriy Yakovlevich Chaika
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Prosecutor General’s Office
ul. B.Dmitrovka, d.15a
125993 Moscow GSP- 3
Russian Federation
Fax: +7495 987 58 41/ +7495 692 17 25
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @RusEmbUSA
Facebook: @RusEmbUSA
Instagram: @RusEmbUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Prosecutor General,

I am concerned about the prosecution of woman human rights defender from Krasnodar, Yana Antonova. The charge of “cooperating” with an “undesirable organization” has been brought against her solely for her peaceful activism. She has not committed any recognizable criminal offense, and this charge should be dropped, and the criminal proceedings against her closed immediately.

Yana Antonova has been targeted via criminal prosecution since 29 March 2019, when her house was searched, and she was taken to the Investigative Committee for questioning. On 22 May, she was officially charged under article 284.1 of the Criminal Code for “cooperating” with an “undesirable organization” on account of her past involvement with the Russian movement Open Russia, which brought together people interested in activism including promotion of human rights, rule of law and government accountability. The movement was never registered as an organization and it ceased to exist in March 2019. Yana Antonova has also lost her job, and other members of her extended family have faced harassment by Russian law enforcement agencies in connection with the criminal proceedings against her.

By prosecuting Yana Antonova for her peaceful activism, the Russian authorities are in violation of their obligations under international human rights law, including in relation to the rights to freedom of expression and association, and the right to a fair trial. I call on you to take all necessary steps to ensure that the criminal prosecution of Yana Antonova stops, and that she is not persecuted for her activism.

Yours sincerely,


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