Russian police arrest two more human rights activists on suspicious drug charges
A year after the suspicious arrest of Chechen human rights advocate Oyub Titiev, two activists connected to Alexey Navalny and Mikhail Khodorkovsky have been arrested in the city of Pskov, MBK Media reports. Leah Milushkina and her husband, Artyom Milushkin, have been charged with selling drugs in large quantities, their attorney Tatyana Martynova told MBK. Mediazona reports that Milushkina is the local coordinator of Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia movement in Pskov while Milushkin works in Navalny’s local headquarters.
On November 4, 2018, Radio Svoboda published a video captured by Milushkina in which police forcefully arrested her husband while he was on his way to a protest against police brutality. At the time, Milushkin told MBK that one of the plainclothes officers involved threatened to plant drugs such that his next arrest would be even more difficult. According to Mediazona, Milushkina has denied the charges against her, and the first hearing in her case will take place on January 18.
Oyub Titiev, who led the Chechen office of a third human rights group, Memorial, was arrested for marijuana possession on January 9, 2018. The testimony against him contains a number of inconsistencies, and Titiev argues that the drugs were planted in his car.