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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 04 Three face jail for peaceful protest Release youth prisoners of conscience
FI 048/19-1
Abgeschlossen am 16. Oktober 2019
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7.10.2019: Bad News

The three young men from Rostov we have been campaigning for were sentenced on 4 October. Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov to more than six years in prison. Viacheslav Shashmin to three years on probation. This is a gross injustice and we will continue campaigning for their unconditional freedom as they will be appealing this sentence. The time before the appeal is crucial and this is our chance to put pressure on the Russian authorities to overturn this unjust sentence.



11.09.2019: Worrying news + deadline extension

On 11 September, the prosecution demanded that Vladislav Mordasov is sentenced to 8.5 years and Yan Sidorov to 8 years in the high security regime penal colony. It also requested that Viacheslav Shashmin is sentenced to 3 years in the general regime penal colony. The next, and last hearing is scheduled for 3 October and the sentencing might take place on the 4 October.

We therefore extended the appeal deadline until 30 October 2019.

Activists’ mobilisation can still help to prevent this unjust imprisonment. Please renew your calls on the Russian Prosecutor General to ensure the criminal prosecution of the three youth activists is stopped and they are freed immediately and unconditionally. Please use Twitter as well as sending your letters by fax.

Thank you very much for your continued support.

Release youth prisoners of conscience

AI-Index: EUR 46/0851/2019

The trial of Yan Sidorov, Vladislav Mordasov and Viacheslav Shashmin is ongoing at the Rostov-on-Don regional court, in southwestern Russia. They are being prosecuted for trying to organise a peaceful protest in November 2017 in support of dozens of Rostov-on-Don residents who had lost their houses in mass fires earlier that year. At the trial, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov reaffirmed that they had been tortured to extract «confessions» but the court disregarded the statements. The three men are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally and their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment effectively investigated.


On 5 November 2017, 18-year-old college student Yan Sidorov and 21-year-old Vladislav Mordasov came to the square in front of the Rostov-on-Don Region administration to hold a peaceful picket. They had several printed leaflets, a loudspeaker and two rolled up handwritten posters that they had made the day before. The posters read: «Return the land to victims of Rostov fires» and «The government should resign». Even before they could start the picket, police arrested them for holding an «unlawful gathering». On the same day, police arrested 18-year-old Viacheslav Shashmin outside a block of flats close nearby. Viacheslav Shashmin claims that he did not know Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov at the time and did not participate in their picket.

On 6 November 2017 Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov were sentenced in separate proceedings to seven days of «administrative detention» each under Article 20.2, part 2, of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences («Organization or conduct of a public event without proper notification of the authorities of this event»). Viacheslav Shashmin was given five days of «administrative detention» on spurious charges of «petty hooliganism» under Article 20.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences. While in police custody, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov were reportedly subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in an attempt to extract «confessions» that they were going to organize a violent demonstration. On 17 November 2017 Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov were officially charged with the crimes of «attempting to organize mass disturbances» (Article 30, part 3, Article 212, part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code) and «attempting to participate in mass disturbances« (Article 30, part, 3, Article 212, part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code). Viacheslav Shashmin was charged with «attempting to participate in mass disturbances». If convicted, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail and Viacheslav Shashmin – up to eight years in jail.

Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov have remained in custody since their arrest on 5 November 2017. Viacheslav Shashmin has been under house arrest, having served administrative detention. The trial of the three young men started in Rostov-on-Don regional court on 29 May 2019. The prosecution has already presented their evidence. At least a third of the prosecution’s witnesses refused to confirm their earlier testimonies given during the pre-trail investigation and stated that they had given them under pressure from the investigators.

In a series of mass fires in Rostov-on-Don in July and August 2017, more than 160 houses were destroyed, one person died, and dozens suffered injuries. Around 700 people were officially recognised as victims. While some compensation for the loss of property has been paid, the authorities did not allow people to build new houses on the same plots of land and did not pay compensation for the loss of their land, which in turn prompted rumours that the fire may have been started deliberately to evict the residents and clear the site for new developments. Many of the fire victims have spoken in support of Yan Sidorov, Vladislav Mordasov and Viacheslav Shashmin and in March 2019, more than 60 people signed an open letter in their support.

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