Our position:

The criminal case against Anastasia Denisova - is absurd and unreasonable!
We demand the withdrawal of charges and demand the cessation of pressure on the human rights defender.

Important dates

Chronicle

In January 2007 there started three simultaneous check-ups in NGO: Krasnodar Department №1 of Tax Service, Regional Department of Federal Registration Service and Bank "Kuban Credit". As a result for the period of these actions the work of an NGO (at that moment of 6 employees - students) was brought to a halt. All the working time was necessary for reporting to different official departments, coping documents and giving explanations, etc. Tax check-up act stated that "ETHnICS" should be fined for 140,000 rubles for not paying the income tax from a charity contribution. The bank account of an NGO was arrested and court procedures began. It took "ETHnICS" almost three years to prove that tax claims were unfair. At the moment "ETHnICS" even after success in courts cannot use its bank account since according to the law tax claims are dismissed step by step and the procedure takes months. That is the way to hinder the work of an NGO for three years by means of putting forward fallacious claims of a tax inspector.

On August 27, 2009 Anastasia Denisova was coming back from Abkhazia from summer holidays along with her friend photojournalist. They were both groundlessly kept at the Russian border for more than 6 hours. Anastasia's backpack was carefully examined by customs officers in order to find any data carriers (laptop, CD or flash memory). Such devices were not found. While examining photojournalist's backpack customs officers found his personal laptop. According to Customs Code customs services control the transfer of goods though the border. Information - is not a commodity, according to the written explanatory note of the Federal Customs Service. In spite of this officers of Adler customs service copied 26 Gb of information from the photojournalists's laptop, getting acquainted with personal files, including correspondence. During examination customs officers refused to announce official grounds for the search. Weeks later, photojournalist got an order about appointing a criminalistic expertise whether the copied information is extremist or not. At the moment a number of appeals are submitted to the prosecutor's office and court about the violation of privacy and rights granted by the Constitution.

During the photojournalist customs examination, Anastasia had to be present in an adjacent room and answer the questions for hours on end about her human rights work. This questioning was held by the person in camouflage, who refused to tell his name or position.

In September 2009 there were three articles in "Kuban News", a newspaper which founder is the administration of Krasnodar krai, that were aimed at discrediting several regional NGOs, including YGT "ETHnICS". Adamant to make use of the right to answer, as a federal law on mass media allows, Anastasia and her colleagues wrote an article in protection of civil society of Krasnodar krai. The chief editor of "Kuban News" Evgenyi Khomutov refused to publicize the article in the newspaper without any further explanation.

On October 4, 2009 officers of Krasnodar airport security prevented Anastasia Denisova from participating in OSCE/ODIHR event in Warsaw, she was invited to. Before the flight Anastasia underwent the most thorough customs examination and passport control. During the remained preflight check Boris Dombrovskyi, airport security services officer, demanded that Anastasia's laptop was checked-in as a baggage. According to the Rules of the cabin (hand) luggage, passengers are allowed not only to get laptops aboard the plane but also use them during the horizontal flight of the vehicle. Austrian airlines representative on duty confirmed that laptop will most probably be damaged during the connection flights if put in a baggage hold. In spite of this, Dombrovskyi kept categorically stating that laptop should be checked-in as a baggage, otherwise he personally will not admit Anastasia to board the plane. When asked about the reasons for such a claim, Dombrovskyi mentioned some "internal instructions". It became obvious that the Anastasia's laptop, being estranged from her, was the desirable object. She had to cancel the flight.

On October 12, 2009 agents belonging to the Investigation and Intervention Uniton Tax Offence pertaining to the Ministry of Internal Affairs raided the premises where Anastasia was working in Krasnodar and confiscated three central units, alleging they had received information according to which pirate softwares were being used in the office. The agents presented a warrant bearing an incorrect address and asked Ms. Anastasia Denisova to come with them for interrogation. She refused to follow them, claiming that the reasons for the interrogation had not been clearly stated. After her refuse agents tried to take her by her hands and make her go out of the room to the car with no number plates. Anastasia categorically refused and managed to stay away from the car. The tenants of adjacent offices claimed that this car was standing near this building for two weeks.

On January 11, 2010 a three-hour search took place at the rented apartment, where Anastasia lives in Krasnodar. Police officers from the Krasnodar Crimes Department Messrs. Armen Gasparjan, Pavel Ignatenko and Vasily Linkov seized a laptop, flash memory and external HDD. They explained that they were allegedly looking for a pirate software in the framework of an investigation on "terrorism". The three police officers, who bore a warrant of which Ms. Denisova was not given any copy, informed Ms. Denisova that a criminal case had been opened against her in December.

On January 12, 2010 Ms. Denisova was summoned for interrogation to the Krasnodar Police Department of Internal Affairs, accompanied by her lawyer, Ms. Marina Dubrovina. During the interrogation, Ms. Denisova refused to answer the questions, relying on Article 51 of the Russian Constitution, which provides that "no one shall be obliged to give evidence against himself or herself". Ms. Denisova is suspected of "illegal use of copyright objects or neighbouring rights" as well as "appropriation, storage, transportation of pirated copies of material for sale purposes on a large scale, with use of official position". If convicted, she could face a six-years prison term and a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (approximately 11,700 euros). 

On February 18, 2010 the prosecutor signed the indictment and the case sent to court.