• Urgent Action


March 15, 2021

On March 3, 2021 the Nizhnii Novgorod Regional Court, in Central Russia, upheld the decision to detain activist Mikhail Iosilevich. He is accused of cooperation with an “undesirable” organization, Open Russia, a “crime” punishable by up to six years in prison. Mikhail Iosilevich is being targeted for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association. Charges against him must be dropped and he must be immediately released.

TAKE ACTION: 1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them. 2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 34.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help. CONTACT INFORMATION
Airat Saetovich Akhmedshin Head of the Investigative Directorate Investigative Committee, Nizhnii Novgorod Region Ul.Marshala Voronkova, 22a Nizhnii Novgorod 603950 Russian Federation Twitter: @sledcom_rf Online form (Russian only): https://nnovgorod.sledcom.ru/references
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

SAMPLE LETTER Dear Head of the Investigative Directorate, I am writing to express my deep concern about the ongoing criminal prosecution and detention of civil society activist Mikhail Iosilevich. On October 8, 2020, Mikhail Iosilevich was charged under Article 284.1 of the Russian Criminal Code for alleged cooperation with an “undesirable organization”. The investigators accused him of having provided the premises for a training conducted by an “undesirable” organisation, Open Russia. While this is a “crime” only under Russian legislation, which itself contravenes Russia’s international human rights obligations and must be repealed, the prosecution of Mikhail Iosilevich is also based on false grounds. He insists that the training had been conducted by another organization, Golos, a Russian movement of election monitors, and that there is no evidence of his involvement with Open Russia. On January 30, 2021, a district court ruled that Mikhail Iosilevich must be detained on remand for allegedly making a threatening phone call to a “witness” in his case. An expert examination of the audio recording of the alleged call concluded that it was not Mikhail Iosilevich’ voice. Nevertheless, the Nizhnii Novgorod Regional Court rejected Mikhail Iosilevich’s appeal and ruled on 3 March that he must remain in detention until 28 March. Mikhail Iosilevich has committed no internationally recognisable criminal offence. He is being targeted for his peaceful activism and for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and association. I urge you to ensure Mikhail Iosilevich’ immediate release and an end to his unfounded criminal prosecution. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME] ADDITIONAL RESOURCES