NGO TV Presenter Detained and Allegedly Mistreated

Update: 28 Dec 2017 No state reply yet
Year 04 Aug 2017 Country Russian Federation Category Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Index , Article 19 , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
04 Aug 2017 Russian Federation Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Index , Article 19 , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
No state reply yet

Aleksandr Batmanov, a presenter at NGO TV, an online TV channel based in Volgograd, was detained by police, on suspicion of theft from a grocery story on 7 July, 2017. NGO TV has reported that Batmanov was detained on that night after refusing to go to the police station, arguing that the charges against him were absurd. According to NGO TV, Batmanov was held at the station with no food or water over the weekend. In an attempt to escape from the police station, he broke both of his legs. The channel reported that it was only after Batmanov sustained injuries that the police sought a court order for his arrest. According to a police report, Batmanov is being held at the medical correction facility №15 of Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Volgograd region. Batmanov’s colleagues believe that his detention is linked to his work as a journalist, specifically, an investigation into corruption surrounding the construction of the Volgograd-Arena stadium and a report on the distribution of government grants to local NGOs. The founder of NGO TV Temur Kobaliya, who was reporting on Batmanov detention, later said he had temporarily left the country fearing persecution from the authorities. He went to Tbilisi, Georgia, Radio Svoboda reported, quoting him saying: "to minimise the risks, I finally decided to leave. If the police wanted a normal dialogue, they should have summoned me or called. I am not hiding”. Kobaliya, who is also the head of Volgograd human rights council, has been pressured by the authorities before. In November Kobaliya’s apartment was searched while he was travelling abroad. Alert : 1 detention

Updates

28 Dec 2017 : On 28 December 2017, responding to the request of the defense, Batmanov’s case was returned to the first instance court to eliminate procedural violations.
17 Oct 2017 : On 17 October 2017 a first instance court sentenced Alexander Batmanov to two years and a month of a strict-regime colony for theft.

CONTACT US

Follow us   

Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
Twitter feed Twitter feed
Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets



Thematic factsheets Thematic factsheets



Partners Partners

CONTACT US

Follow us