Dr. Boris Nemtsov, a physicist and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, was arrested on December 31, 2010, while participating in a peaceful rally in Moscow. A court sentenced him to 15 days in jail for “disobeying police instructions.”
According to news reports, Nemtsov tried to appeal his sentence as violating his human rights to a fair trial but the court refused to hear the appeal during its New Year’s holiday, even though it had sanctioned Nemtsov’s and other demonstrators’ arrests during the same period and handed down their sentences. Nemtsov has appealed to the International Court of Justice in Strasbourg claiming violation of his rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. His jail sentence also violates the prohibition on arbitrary arrest of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a signatory.
CCS wrote to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and other officials urging them to reverse Boris Nemtsov’s sentence, even if he has completed serving his jail term, to compensate him for the damage inflicted upon him, and to allow citizens of the Russian Federation to peacefully exercise their human and political rights to free speech.