This is only a preview of unpublished case!
Russia: Support Activist Natalya Sharina!
Russia, action created 25.4.2016, petition is active
Natalya Sharina, the Director of the state run Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, was detained at her home early in the morning on 28 October 2015 by the officers of the Investigative Committee. They searched her home for several hours and then took her to the library where they carried out a search looking for “extremist literature”. In a pile of books that had not yet been indexed or made available to borrowers (and which Natalya Sharina believes had been planted there by law enforcement officials), the investigators allegedly found works by Ukrainian nationalist Dmitry Korchinsky.
Russia has banned some of Dmitry Korchinsky's books as “extremist literature." In the evening of 28 October Natalya Sharina was interrogated by investigators and at 3am of 29 October taken to a police station where she was held until 30 October. During her two days in detention she was not given any bedding, food or drink, and an ambulance had to be called four times during this period to provide her with required emergency medical assistance for high blood pressure.
On 29 October she was charged with “inciting hatred and enmity, as well as “humiliation of human dignity while using her official position” (Article 282(2) of the Russian Criminal Code) which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison. She was transferred under house arrest on 30 October, and can only contact her lawyer and those she lives with. She cannot use the internet or the telephone, except to call an ambulance. To leave the house, for any reason other than a medical emergency, she must have the investigator’s permission. A request for her to be allowed to take walks was promptly refused.
Natalya Sharina is a prisoner of conscience who has been deprived of her liberty and is threatened with criminal prosecution solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression. All charges against her must be dropped and she must be released immediately and unconditionally.
On 5 April Natalya Sharina was charged with embezzlement for having allegedly misappropriated library funds to pay for a lawyer to defend her during a previous unfounded attempt to prosecute in 2011 – 2013. In 2010, Natalya Sharina was accused of distributing extremist literature by a Ukrainian author, but the charges were eventually dropped because the books were only declared extremist in 2013 and the library had stopped stocking them in 2011. The funds she allegedly used were those the library paid as salaries to its staff lawyers. Her current lawyer claims that this charge is baseless, both because she paid her own legal expenses using her own money, and because the library’s lawyers were not licensed as advocates to represent her in court. According to the lawyer, the new charges are intended to ensure that she can remain under arrest while the maximum period of remand initial set of charges is six months and she would have to be tried before that or released.