Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

The Republic of Armenia must not become a participant of political persecutions by the Russian Federation

May 18, 2023

Activities | Legal Support | Rights | Right to Freedom from Torture | Publications | Press Releases | Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

In May 2023, Yaroslav Inozemtsev, a teenager from Volgograd, was arrested in Yerevan. HCA Vanadzor undertook to protect the minor’s rights on the spot. A few hours after the arrest, the minor was released.

 

While the Russian media wrote about the likelihood of extradition, in response to HCAV’s inquiry, the Ministry of Justice notes that there is no letter or petition regarding Inozemtsev’s extradition yet. Information about Inozemtsev’s extradition was circulating in the Police station, and according to that information, extradition documents are ready and he is soon to be extradited. 

 

Yaroslav Inozemtsev has been persecuted since he was 14. Below is a part of the interview given to Дождь TV channel broadcast from Latvia, 

 

“Yaroslav has been making anti-government, anti-Putin publications in Вконтакте. They started to follow him. He was also trying to stand on his civic position in school, he was against the school uniform. During Covid-19, they stayed home, and he was making firecrackers with other children and blowing them up in a gorge. Then they conducted an expert examination of the confiscated self-made firecracker and it turned out it could only blow up a wooden box. This means that it was not enough to blow up the school, thus they decided to recognize my son to be of diminished responsibility, and after that, they charged him with a different Article on preparing a terrorist act to destabilize the state power”, Yaroslav’s mother said. 

 

In Russia, Inozemtsev is accused of preparing an attack on school. In July 2022, the Russian court accused the minor boy of preparing a terrorist act, illegally keeping explosive materials. As a punishment, the court assigned a compulsory mental treatment.

 

The 3-year judicial process ended with a judgment of the Appeal Court, immediately after which, in March 2023, 17-year-old Yaroslav and his mother fled Russia. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs declared the boy wanted. 

 

HCAV once again states that Armenia must refrain from extraditing citizens to the Russian Federation, since otherwise, Armenia will become a part of the political persecution by the RF authoritarian regime, and will ultimately violate the rights of politically persecuted persons. As long as there is a real risk that extradited RF citizens can be subjected to torture, degrading treatment by the RF law enforcement bodies, there is a high risk that he might even be extrajudicially executed. The Republic of Armenia, as a Council of Europe member state, and a state that ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, should not implement the mutual legal assistance agreement, which is void as a result of the RF regime’s anti-human unlawful policy. 

 

HCA Vanadzor human rights NGO is ready to undertake protection of the rights and freedoms of persons who have come to Armenia to escape persecutions as a result of their political views or beliefs. 

 

Any activity aimed at extradition not only violates the RA legislation norms, but is also a direct violation of democratic and legal values. Thus, HCAV calls on the RA law enforcement to refrain from such unlawful activities and stay committed to protection of the rights and freedoms of the human being as the highest value.

 

 

 

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