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Dmitry Rozhin

ARREST OF A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Appeal to publicity by Dmitry Rozhin

Being a representative of the Public Supervisory Commission of the Sverdlovsk region and Russian social organizations for a long time I was involved in social activities in the field of protection of Constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens of Russian Federation, namely legal aid and public investigations.

One of those investigations was a crush, happened on the 21st of March 2009 in Pervouralsk between the crowds, willing to enter the “Hollywood” disco. 4 people died and more than 8 were injured. The results of the public investigation of the tragedy, announced in the Pervouralsk city court completely contradicted the official police version. Instead of providing the reaction on proofs of the unsatisfactory police work, the policeman were involved in ignorance of facts and deceive.

On conducting the inquiry, we officially delivered all information and details of the investigation to public and announced our position. Being deeply considered that the administration of Pervouralsk police is in charge for the tragedy we claimed that the police is not able to provide safety of the population in Pervouralsk. During the meeting with Minister of internal affairs of Russian Federation we pointed out the defects, mistakes and unprofessionalism of the Ural policemen and claimed that the policemen don't possess enough professional capacity to work at their positions and that under their supervision the population is not guaranteed to be in safety. The response of the officials was quick: taking the critique inadequately law-enforcement authorities initiated mine illegal criminal prosecution on the basis of fabricated case.

The attempt of police to isolate human rights defenders from the society and disable public discussions, with no doubts, is connected with gross law breaches, namely my criminal case was initiated without conducting my interrogation and was based on the results of preliminary inquest, and hence this I am not sure if the investigation was provided at all. The events of the case, described by the law-enforcement authorities in 2009 that form the basis of my accusation took place in 2007. Back then I worked in the Sverdlovsk Bar Association and provided legal aid to different people. One of the relatives of the convicted, whose interests I represented in the Supreme Court of Russian Federation in March, 2007, two years later writes a complaint that I did not fulfill the taken responsibilities and cheated her. In the absence of the objective data, documents and written proof, based on the simple complaint and without investigation the law-enforcement authorities initiated the criminal case against me and tried to send me in imprisonment as it happened to Andrey Sokolov in 2009. Only my health and my proven disablement were an obstacle for my imprisonment. At the same time I have documented alibi, namely the proofs (both written proofs and testimonial evidence) that at the time of woman's complaint and investigation process I was in completely different places: in the courts and in the office.

Currently the case is under investigation at the court for more than 2 years that can be explained by numerous procedural errors in the inquiry process, which are still not abolished – first of all the breach of Article 217 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation: investigation in conditions of sufficient lack of evidence and data. Other procedural errors include unconcerned accusation, namely absence of connection between arguments of the accusation and the provided proof. The main breach is that alibi of accused was not refuted at the inquiry, thus there is no connection between accusation and alibi as well as there are no proven grounds of accusation. The court has a number of times addressed the office of a public prosecutor with the claim that the investigation is based on speculations and guesses. The conclusion of accusation sounds like “I could commit the crime” - that is not even confirmation, but an assumption or version.

This all is very strange and causes reasonable questions, but neither law-enforcement officials, nor the court or office of a public prosecutor are able to provide the answers. There are self-evident and reasonable claims, indicating the fact of fabrication of the criminal case.

Since institution of legal proceedings (namely 23 April, 2009) till the present moment I did not cease the public activities. In the end of February, 2012 in connection with my upcoming participation at the Freedom House training and 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva I seeked a permission to leave the country for the required period of time. The judge A. Semerikov, who conducts the inquiry of my criminal case granted the permittion for the period of 01-10 March, 2012.

In the period of 04-09 March, 2012 I participated at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council as a member of the Freedom House delegation to the UN and came back to Russia on 10th of March, 2010 taking the plane route Geneva-Moscow-Yekaterinburg. By medical indications I was taken off the plane in the airport of Moscow and was in hospital there till the 16th of March, 2012.

I notified the Court about the situation (the required documents are registered in the office of the clerk on the 16th March, 2012). On the 17th of March on my arrival to Yekaterinburg I was again taken to the hospital and was discharged from a hospital only on March, 23.

On the 2nd of April the unknown persons came to my home and asked my wife to pass me the telephone number, on which i have to recall them. I called the appointed number and I was told that I am under the police retrieval and have to come to the Internal Affairs administration of Yekaterinburg. On coming there I was arrested and confined to prison. On health issues I was not admitted to the isolator of temporary confinement (IVS). The ambulance took me to the hospital in Yekaterinburg, where I am staying currently.

The actions of the Court and police and the arousing questions cause reasonable doubts in the legality and objectiveness of the way they conduct my criminal case. Being under written undertaking not to leave the place for 3 years and not breaking it I was arrested directly after my visit to Geneva, although I had legal permission to leave the country for the requested period of time. The permit and order to arrest were issued by the same judge. It seems that the measures are taken to force me to leave the country. Moreover during more than 3 years I am under pursuit, shadowing and menace because of my legal and human rights defending activities. My detention and confinement on the 2nd of April 2012, judging by the previous absence of any claims about my undertaking not to leave the place, without doubts is a reaction on my participation at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Counsil from unknown law-enforcement officials, who affected the court. Initially the court issued me the permission to leave the country, but as the result of the actions of unknown law-enforcement officials in absence of any sufficient grounds and with gross breaches of the Criminal Procedural Code of Russian Federation, namely sentence in the absence of the defence, the court changed the opinion and issued the order of my arrest, although it posessed the documents that explain the valid reasons of my later arrival to Yekaterinburg.

Thus the position of the court and inquest is initially inconsistent and does not follow the requirements of criminal procedural law of Russian Federation, that with no doubt indicates the other component of my criminal case – persecution for my beliefs, social and human rights activities as well as for the objective evaluation of the actions of law-enforcement authorities.

Dmitry Rozhin

Yekaterinburg, 05 April 2012

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