Human Rights Watch: Activist Held Without Bail

posted 24 Oct 2013, 05:06 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Oct 2013, 05:11 ]
23 October 2013 

Source: (info)
A political motivation is suspected in the detention of Mikhail Savva in the city of Krasnodar in southern Russia, the international human rights organisation Human Rights Watch has announced in a statement:

“On October 23, hearings on the merits for the trial against Mikhail Savva were postponed till November 5, 2013.

October 22, 2013 Update

Hearings on the merits for the trial against Mikhail Savva are scheduled to begin October 23, 2013. Authorities completed the investigation into the fraud charges against him on September 23.

Savva has been in pretrial custody since his arrest on April 9. One of his lawyers told Human Rights Watch that Savva was interrogated for several hours during a weekend in May without his lawyer present, despite his requests for legal counsel.

The lawyer said that investigators questioned Savva about his work at the university, his involvement in international programs, and the foreign grants his organization received. After the interrogation, the investigative authorities added another count of fraud to his case, alleging that the University of Krasnodar had paid him 70,000 thousand rubles (approximately US$2,200) for teaching a course that he did not teach.

Savva’s wife and one of his lawyers told Human Rights Watch that in May Savva was also transferred to a less comfortable, darker cell. Savva has not been allowed any meetings with relatives since his arrest. His wife said he receives only about half of the letters sent to him by family members, despite Russian prison rules permitting free communication for people in pretrial detention. Letters from his students, friends, and supporters do not reach him at all, his wife said. In early September Savva suffered chest pains caused by heart problems." 

For more information, read here: Russia: Activist Held Without Bail