Bill Bowring, a professor at London Metropolitan University and founder of the university’s European Human Rights program who has helped Russian citizens win cases in the European Court of Human Rights, has been denied entry into Russia. The Moscow Times reported on November 17 that Bowring, whose center is funded by the European Commission, was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport for six hours on November 15 before his visa was revoked and he was sent back to London. According to Oleg Orlov of the Memorial human rights group, Bowring had planned to observe a court hearing in Nizhny Novgorod on November 16 in the trial of Stanislav Dmitrievsky, head of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD), who is charged with inciting ethnic hatred for allowing the publication in the society’s newspaper Pravo-Zashchita of two peace appeals by Aslan Maskhadov and Akhmed Zakaev in March and April 2004 (see Chechnya Weekly, November 10). Interfax reported on November 16 that Dmitrievsky’s trial had been postponed until November 25 because witnesses for the prosecution had failed to come to the session that day.
Svetlana Gannushkina, head of the Civil Assistance rights group, told the Moscow Times that a lawyer from Bowring’s center had helped the ORChD win another court case in Nizhny Novgorod on November 14, in which the Federal Registration Service sought to close the society down. The court rejected the registration service’s suit.
Meanwhile, Kavkazky Uzel reported on November 16 that Amnesty International will declare Dmitrievsky a prisoner of conscience if he is convicted.