Application lodged with European Court of Human Rights against Boris Stomakhin’s second conviction

posted 18 Jan 2015, 07:41 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Jan 2015, 07:45 ]
16 January 2015

Source: (info)
Damir Gainutdinov, a lawyer with the Agora Human Rights Association (pictured), has lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in connection with the second criminal case against the journalist and activist Boris Stomakhin. The latter was sentenced to six and a half years in a maximum-security facility as a result of his Internet-based and self-published writings. According to the opposition activist Gennadiy Stroganov, as reported by, the appeal was lodged on 14 January and should be registered within one or two months.

The appeal states that Russia’s handling of the Stomakhin case represents a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of expression); “The applicant wishes to draw the Court’s attention to the fact that all of the materials published related to issues which are manifestly in the public interest.”

At the same time, the appeal highlights the fact that neither the prosecution nor the court presented any concrete material facts in relation to the case, limiting themselves instead to a formal indication of the danger posed to society by the crimes which the writer is accused of committing. It also notes the absence of any grounds for the harsh sentence handed down to Stomakhin given the lack of objective evidence that his articles had ever been viewed as a genuine incitement to violent or unlawful actions, unjustifiable regardless of their potential danger to the public.

The second case against Stomakhin was opened in mid-2012 on the basis of statements lodged by Roman Nosikov, a member of Kurginyan’s “Essence of Time” movement. Stomakhin was detained on 20 November 2012 and remanded in custody two days later.

Yury Kovalevsky presided over the sentencing at the Butyrsky district court in Moscow on 22 April 2014. Stomakhin was found guilty under Article 205.2 (1) of the Criminal Code (public justification of terrorism), Article 280 (1) (public incitement to extremism), Article 282 (1) (incitement of hatred or enmity) and Article 30 (1) and Article 205.2 (2) (use of the mass media to support the public justification of terrorism). The Collegium of the Moscow City Court, composed of the presiding judge Aleksei Marinenko as well as Irina Sinitsina and Galina Filippova, on 15 July upheld Kovalevsky's ruling.

All of the charges related to the publication of articles on Stomakhin’s private blog hosted on “Zhivoi zhurnal [LiveJournal]”, on the website “Soprotivlenie [Resistance]”, and in the small-scale periodical “Radical Politics”.

In late August, it was reported that Stomakhin had been transferred to correctional institution IK-10 in the Perm region. In September and October the political prisoner was moved to a solitary confinement cell three times on various pretexts, the first two times for 15 days and the third time for 10 days. In November he was moved to a strict-regime correctional detachment, and only a few days later to an individual cell within the penal colony’s own internal prison.

In mid-December Stomakhin was then transferred back to Moscow for investigations into the third case against him. On 25 December the political prisoner was officially charged, again under Article 205.2 (1) of the Criminal Code.

Stomakhin served a first five-year sentence between 2006 and 2011, again solely on the grounds of his writings. The writer attempted to evade detention by escaping from a window of his flat using a rope, but broke his legs and two vertebrae after the rope broke. He has not yet recovered from the effects of these injuries.

Translated by Joanne Reynolds