12 June: Russian police officers detain a participant of an unauthorised rally in St Petersburg. (c) NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images. All rights reserved.
Every Friday, we bring you the latest in freedom of assembly in Russia via our partners OVD-Info.
This week at least 1720 people were detained in Russia at anti-corruption protests on 12 June. They are now all to go before the courts.
Here is our detailed report (which is still being added to) on the number of people detained in various Russian cities. In Moscow, we know 866 people were detained and taken to 41 police stations. At least 32 people were held overnight at 11 police stations. In St Petersburg, according to our preliminary data, at least 658 people were detained (they were taken to 34 police stations), and 247 were held overnight.
The Russian police acted crudely and harshly: detainees were beaten; in police stations people were humiliated and held in inhuman conditions. In Moscow, activist Yulia Galyamina and her husband were beaten. She is in hospital. According to the Joint Public Monitoring Group, police officers struck people’s heads against the sides of police wagons and hit their legs with batons. You can see here you can see how a police officer intentionally strikes a detainee, already on the ground, on the head.
12 June: a protester is detained with force in Moscow. Source: Facebook / Alexei Semkin.In St Petersburg, in Police Station No. 15 a detainee was forced to undress to their underpants, while in Police Station No. 24 detainees were beaten (and one detainee was held in a cold and damp cellar). In Moscow’s Alekseevsky police station three people spent the night on the street – there was no room for them in the police station itself. This is only a short list of such violations. In the near future we’ll publish a detailed report.
After Monday’s rally, the Investigative Committee has opened two criminal cases against teenagers. In Moscow, a 17-year-old high school student has been charged with using force against a police officer. According to the investigators, he released pepper spray from a cannister during the rally as result of which a police officer received chemical burns to the eye. On 14 June in St Petersburg police officers from the Anti-Extremism Centre detained a high school student. He is accused of allegedly assaulting a police officer, striking him with his fist. However, in one of the videos from the rally it can be seen that the teenager most probably simply fell against the police officer.
In St Petersburg, demonstrators are being unlawfully prosecuted in courts all over the city, and not in the court of the district where they were detained. On the morning of 13 June, riot police blocked the entrance to the Dzerzhinsky district court where hearings of detainees’ cases were in progress. Human rights defender Dinar Idrisov, who was defending the activists, was twice detained outside the court and was sentenced to 14 days in jail. During the protests themselves, members of the Human Rights Council were being held in a police van.
At least 350 court hearings have already been held in St Petersburg. More than 100 people have been sentenced to terms in jail for periods of from one to 15 days. The rest have been fined sums of between 3,000 (£40) and 15,000 roubles (£200). In Moscow things are not so tough: so far we know of 11 people who have been jailed (although Alexei Navalny, has been given a 30 day detention sentence), while the main body of court cases is yet to be heard.
What we are reading and watching
with the Meduza news website we have released a map
of all the anti-corruption protests that took place on 12 June.
This map shows everything we know as of now: where and how people
protested and how the protests ended. We continue to gather and check
information, and you can help us in this.
Together with the Kommersant newspaper, we have shown how rallies and pickets are banned in various regions. Or more exactly, we have made an “Index of Legislative Regulation of Rallies”.
That was the week!
It has been a bad week for everyone, and a very difficult one for us. A great deal of work remains to be done. You can help us do this here.