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Mon Jul 30, 2018, 08:10 AM

How Russia Persecutes Its Dissidents Using U.S. Courts

Russia’s requests to Interpol for Red Notices—the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant—against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security.

A little more than six years ago, Sasha was on his way to a meeting of Russia’s pro-democracy Yabloko Party in the tiny Russian republic of Kalmykia when he was pulled into an unmarked black car by two plainclothes police officers. He was interrogated for three days about his prior activity with the party, his lawyer told me, and his captors demanded that he sign a confession that mentioned something about a kidnapping. But they wouldn’t tell him what his crime was.

After seven months in prison, Sasha—whose full name is being withheld by The Atlantic at his lawyer’s request—pleaded guilty without knowing why. In court weeks later, Russian prosecutors revealed the substantive case against him for the first time: Sasha, along with two others, had been accused and convicted of kidnapping someone, holding him in an apartment, and beating him repeatedly with a hammer. Sasha maintains that he never learned who the alleged victim was—no photo was ever submitted into the criminal record. But he served a brief prison sentence and was released on probation in December 2012, at which point he fled to the United States on a B-2 tourist visa and applied for asylum at the end of 2013.

In October 2017, Sasha and his wife were driving to work in Atlanta when they were pulled over by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. They told Sasha that the International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, had issued a Red Notice at Russia’s behest, alerting authorities that he had violated the terms of his probation by traveling to the U.S. years earlier.

Much attention has been paid to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the fear of a repeat in the upcoming midterms. Less examined, however, has been Russia’s abuse of Interpol and the American court system to persecute the Kremlin’s rivals in the United States—a problem that the Atlantic Council described in a recent report as another form of “interference” by Russia. Russia’s requests to Interpol to issue Red Notices—the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today—against Kremlin opponents are being met with increasing deference by the Department of Homeland Security, according to immigration attorneys and experts in transnational crime and corruption with whom I spoke.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/07/how-russia-persecutes-its-dissidents-using-us-courts/566309/

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demmiblue Jul 2018 OP
2naSalit Jul 2018 #1
Wounded Bear Jul 2018 #2

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 09:03 AM

1. K&R for exposure!!!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 09:10 AM

2. K & R...for visibility...nt

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