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Jailed Activist’s Daughter Dies in Russian Hospital

Anastasia Shevchenko / Open Russia

The daughter of the first activist prosecuted under Russia’s law against “undesirable organizations” has reportedly died in intensive care.

Anastasia Shevchenko, a coordinator for the Open Russia pro-democracy NGO, was placed under house arrest last week over violations of the 2015 law against “undesirable organizations.” Human Rights Watch called Shevchenko the first activist to be charged under the law and Amnesty International declared her a prisoner of conscience.

Shevchenko’s 17-year-old daughter died in intensive care, the MBKh Media online news outlet reported Thursday, citing its columnist and long-time human rights activist Zoya Svetova.

Shevchenko’s daughter was hospitalized from a special-needs boarding school in critical condition with obstructive bronchitis on Wednesday, according to Open Russia.

Investigators allowed Shevchenko to visit her daughter that evening after she was hospitalized with heart failure, Open Russia said.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman reportedly said the Kremlin was unaware of Shevchenko’s case.

The 2015 law allows prosecutors to limit or halt the work of organizations labeled “undesirable” and fine or jail violators for up to six years.

Open Russia was founded by exiled former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who also launched MBKh after authorities blacklisted and blocked access to Open Russia in December 2017.

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