Reasons for arrest: anti-capitalism, separatism and “political hatred”

This week, Russian law enforcement gets inventive as it detains activists across the country.  

29 September 2017

"Capitalism is shit": officers in Barvhikha demonstrate protesters' banner inside the police station. Source: Left Bloc.On Saturday, at least 40 people were detained in Moscow at the “Anti-Capitalism 2017” march that had been held without official permission. On Monday, court proceedings began against Sergei Udaltsov and other activists of the Other Russia organisation, who had been arrested at the march. Most of the trials were postponed, but Udaltsov was sentenced to five days in jail, whereupon he declared a hunger strike. 

Also on Saturday: nine Left Bloc activists, who were tried to hold a protest outside elite housing in Moscow’s Barvikha district, were detained as they arrived at the nearby commuter train station. On Monday they were tried and given sentences ranging from three to 14 days in jail.

The deputy chair of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Ilmi Umerov, was sentenced to two years in a low-security prison colony for calling, live on television, for Crimea to be returned to Ukraine. This was despite the fact that the prosecution had asked for Umerov to be given a suspended sentence. The court considered it necessary to hand down a more severe sentence. Under the same article of the Criminal Code on separatism, Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena was given a 30-month suspended sentence for his article “A Blockade is a Necessary First Step towards the Liberation of Crimea” published on the website Crimea. Realities.

The latest news about prosecutions that followed anti-corruption rallies earlier this year is as follows:

  • - Dmitry Krepkin, charged in the Case of 26 March, has been moved from one pre-trial detention centre (Vodnik) to another (Butyrka). The first hearing in his case will take place on 13 October at 11:00 in Tver district court. It is possible that the judgment will be issued the same day
  • - Moscow City Court upheld on appeal the conviction of Stanislav Zimovets in connection with the rally of 26 March. He has been sentenced to 30 months in prison

  • - In St Petersburg, the trial began in the case of the minor Dmitry Myakshin, charged with using force against a police officer during the rally held on 12 June. The court heard the testimony of the victim, testimony which is very different from what can be seen on the video of the arrest of the young person

  • - The case of the high school student Mikhail Galyashkin, charged with releasing pepper spray at a police officer at the rally of 12 June, has been transferred to the court

Across the country, the local campaigning headquarters of Alexey Navalny are trying to obtain permission for him to hold public rallies and meetings, but in many cities permission is being denied. In Krasnoyarsk, his local campaign staff were summoned to city hall and shown a written warning that violations of the law were not permitted. Apart from the standard warning about rallies, they were also threatened with criminal prosecution under Article 282 of the Criminal Code. And police colonel Prokopishko came up with a new category of hatred: “political hatred”. Students ofthe Far East State University for the Fishing Industry in Vladivostok have been warned they may face problems if they take part in a meeting with Navalny, and were also threatened with potential prosecution under anti-extremism law.

OVD-Info member Aleksandr Litoi attended the trial of Dmitry Buchenkov and gave testimony on behalf of the defence. Buchenkov is being tried in the Bolotnaya Square case, despite the fact that on the day in question he was not in Moscow, let alone on Bolotnaya Square. This trial must not last a second longer.

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