Discrimination against men? Navalny-ally Milov challenges law preventing mothers of young kids being imprisoned, but not fathers

Russian activist Vladimir Milov has complained to the Constitutional Court about sexism against men embedded in the country’s laws. In Russia, women with young children cannot be jailed for administrative offenses, but men can.

As per the country’s legal code, certain sections of society cannot be detained for administrative offenses, such as pregnant women, people under 18, and women with children under the age of 14. In 2019, Milov was jailed for 30 days despite having a two-year-old son, and now wants the law to be changed to include fathers with children under 14, as well as mothers.

According to the Telegram channel of the ‘Apologiya protesta’ group, a legal service for people arrested during protests, Milov believes his 30-day detention contradicted three articles of the Russian constitution, which guarantee equality to men and women, equal rights to parents, and the right to a private life.

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Milov, a western-leaning political activist who, in 2002, briefly served as deputy Minister of Energy in Mikhail Kasyanov’s government, is a close associate of anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny. 

From 2012 to 2015, he ran a political party called Democratic Choice.

On July 27, 2019, Milov was dramatically arrested in Navalny’s YouTube studio during a live broadcast of protests in Moscow over a refusal by city authorities to permit some independent candidates on the ballot for local elections. Despite not being at the rally itself, he was imprisoned for 30 days for participation.

Milov’s case is not the first to have caused a stir about the rights of arrested parents. Also in 2019, Russian journalist Ilya Azar was detained by security services and taken to a police station, despite there being no other adults at home to look after his young child, who was sleeping. His wife arrived half an hour later.

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