Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender and Doctor on Trial (Russian Federation: UA 154.19)
June 25, 2020
The trial of Yana Antonova, a human rights defender and pediatrician from Krasnodar, southern Russia, resumed on 23 June. She faces up to six years in prison for commemorating a slain activist and other peaceful activities as a member of the “undesirable organization” Open Russia.
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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]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Prosecutor General,
I am indignant about the prosecution of Yana Antonova, a pediatrician and a woman human rights defender from Krasnodar.
On 22 May 2019, Yana Antonova was charged under article 284.1 of the Criminal Code for “cooperating” with an “undesirable organization” due to her her past involvement with the Russian movement Open Russia, which brought together people interested in civic activism, including the promotion of human rights, rule of law and government accountability. The organization has never been registered and ceased its work in March 2019.
Yana Antonova has committed no crime. She is put on trial for actions such as commemorating slain political activist Boris Nemtsov and journalist Vladislav Listyev and sharing a video about the shortage of schools in her region. Yana Antonova, who is a single parent, has already lost her job as a pediatrician, 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 authorities are in violation of Russia’s 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.