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Sep 16, 2021
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How I defended the National Bolsheviks in the ECHR

Pictured: the building of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

Pictured: the building of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (Photo: Thomas Robbin / imageBROKER.com / Global Look Press)

The European Court of Human Rights unanimously recognized the refusal to register and liquidate the National Bolshevik Party * as a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The text of the decision was published on the court’s website.

Fifteen years have passed since I, among the five applicants, signed the corresponding claim to the ECHR. Yes, the millstones of the European bureaucracy are slowly grinding.

Let’s remember how it all began. In 2005, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation made a decision to liquidate the National Bolshevik Party Interregional Public Organization. In 2006, the Ministry of Justice refused to register the NBP as an all-Russian political party. Tagansky and Moscow city courts, as expected, supported the ministry’s position.

Both of these decisions – liquidation and refusal to register – were appealed to the ECHR, and then combined into a single claim.

Since then, many national Bolsheviks, activists and leaders of the most repressed party have gone through prison terms. In 2007, the NBP was recognized as an extremist organization and finally banned *. I myself was released less than a year ago after spending two and a half years in prison on trumped-up charges.

A similar case on the claim of the Republican Party of Russia Vladimir Ryzhkov, deprived of registration in 2007, the ECHR considered for several years. I personally advised the Republican Party of Ryzhkov and their lawyer Vadima Prokhorova, their claim was built on the basis of ours and very quickly resolved. Well, our case has dragged on. I guess it’s about political priorities.

Only at the end of 2020, the ECHR contacted the applicants and entered the home stretch. In November 2020, I signed a paper that I support the claim. On September 14, 2021, 15 years after the original lawsuit was filed, we awaited a decision.

The court awarded 10 thousand euros in compensation to the heirs Eduard Limonov (to his children, Bogdan and Aleksandra), as well as to other applicants – Aleksandr Averin, Sergey Fomchenkov, Alexey Volynts and Andrey Dmitriev – in solidarity. That is, not 10 thousand euros for each, but 10 thousand euros for everyone. The decision will take effect in three months. During this period, representatives of the Russian government have the opportunity to appeal against it. However, I believe that even in the second instance the ECHR will take our side.

It should be noted, since the NBP is recognized as an extremist organization, the basis for the resumption of the activities of the banned organization is the decision of the ECHR from 14.09.2021 is not.

At the same time, I regard the ECHR decision as a moral and political victory. In fact, the court found the long-term prosecution of the National Bolsheviks in Russia as politically motivated. It is a pity that Eduard Limonov did not live. I suppose he would be very happy to pour a glass of wine and drink in honor of this joyous occasion.

Andrei Dmitriev and I give half of the amount of the compensation due to the families of the National Bolsheviks who died in the Donbass – Evgeniya Pavlenko and Ilya Guryev… Ilya Guryev died in August 2014 near Lugansk, Evgeny Pavlenko – in February 2015 near Debaltseve.

We urge the rest of the applicants to the ECHR, Aleksey Volynts and Sergei Fomchenkov, as well as the children of Eduard Veniaminovich, Bogdan and Aleksandra, to do the same.

Over the years, lawyers worked on the claim Dmitry Agranovsky, Jalil Sirozhidinov and Vitaly Varivoda… I can’t help but thank them.

So many people have died or gone through prisons, so many years have passed … Politics in Russia is a matter of people of long will. We knew this 15 years ago.


* The interregional public organization “National Bolshevik Party” (NBP) was recognized as extremist by the decision of the Moscow City Court of April 19, 2007, and its activity in Russia is prohibited.

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