Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Russian Woman Charged with Extremism Not Allowed to Say Anything about Case

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 19 – Darya Polyudova, the first Russian to be charged with challenging the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and to serve time in the camps upon conviction, now faces new charges for a repetition of that crime and also for promoting terrorism again on the basis of her posts and videos online.

            But there is a twist. When the Moscow court told Polyudova of the new charges last week, she, her lawyer and two friends and colleagues were required to sign non-disclosure agreements that mean that none of them can talk about the case or even that it existed (region.expert/poliudova/).

            Apparently, the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal says, “with the beginning of Putin’s ‘constitutional reform,’ the powers that be are seeking not simply to suppress regionalists movements in Russia but to portray them as ‘non-existent’ as well. Otherwise the non-disclosure requirements make no sense at all. 

            Polyudova got in trouble in 2014 for rejecting Moscow’s claim that it had legitimately absorbed Ukraine’s Crimea. Her problems this time around appear to spring from her call for the Kurile islands to be returned to Japan.  A member of the Left Resistance, she takes a very different position than what Region.Expert says is the “imperialist” one of the KPRF.

            In an earlier interview with the portal, the activist said had taken part in the Siberian Anti-Regionalist March, an action which not only denounced not only Moscow’s land grabs in a variety of places but also called for the independence of Siberia and other regions and republics in the Russian Federation that want to leave (region.expert/darja/).

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