This week in Russia: violence and impunity

The echoes of a planned national revolution continue to resound in Russia, as more people are swept up by the security services. 

9 February 2018

Penza's investigation prison No.1. Source: OVD-Info.

This article is part of our partnership with OVD-Info, an NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia.

We’ve found more information about people prosecuted in connection with Vyacheslav Maltsev’s planned revolution for November 2017. Construction worker Vyacheslav Shatrovksy from Kostroma region has been charged with striking and choking a police officer, although in fact what happened was somewhat different. A police officer, using force, threw Shatrovsky over his shoulder, as a result of which Shatrovsky received an open head wound and numerous bruises to his head and face. The lawyer Konstantin Markin reports what happened to Shatrovksy on 5 November. You can read it here. Meanwhile, Shatrovsky is being held in pre-trial detention centre in Moscow and his health is deteriorating.

  • In St Petersburg, human rights defenders have published a report about the torture of Viktor Filinkov and Igor Shishkin, prosecuted in a new terrorism case which is yet one more echo of the “Maltsev revolution.” Both men have been found to have numerous bruises and burn marks from electric shocks on their bodies.

  • Maltsev’s activities sometimes seem to surface in very unexpected ways. At the end of last year, police officers conducted a search of the home of a Kaluga resident and charged her with insulting and threatening the investigator who had conducted the search of Maltsev’s apartment in a post on the VKontakte social networking site. The woman herself asserts that until the charges were brought she had known neither the investigating officer nor Maltsev.

  • Meanwhile, the echoes of the Bolotnaya Square prosecutions are gradually fading. Last week, Maksim Panfilov was released; this week the requirement that Mikhail Kosenko must undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment as an outpatient was cancelled. Both individuals had been found unfit to stand trial following the events on Bolotnaya Square of 6 May 2012. This week, the European Court of Human Rights awarded one other defendant in the Bolotnaya Square case, Vladimir Akimenkov, €10,000 in compensation.

  • The last person to be prosecuted in the Bolotnaya Square case to date, Dmitry Buchenkov, who did not wait for his trial to end but left the country, is writing a book in emigration about the Russian courts and investigative authorities. Here we publish two chapters from his book.

  • The article of the Criminal Code concerning use of force against a representative of authority, familiar to those prosecuted in the Bolotnaya Square case and to Vyacheslav Shatrovsky, may now be used against Alexey Navalny. Navalny was summoned to the Investigative Committee and shown the report of a police officer who asserts that Navalny struck him in the leg when he was detained on 28 January.

  • However, there seems no rush to open criminal proceedings, or even to conduct a preliminary investigation, into an injury to the hand received by pensioner Turana Varzhabetyan at a protest that took place on 26 March. Meanwhile, the court has fined her a second time (the first fine was quashed). Varzhabetyan was also a victim of violence on Bolotnaya Square in 2012 when she was struck on the head by a police baton. No one has been brought to justice for the incident.

  • In Krasnodar region, pensioner Raisa Pogodaeva has been arrested twice: first for a video about the arrest of a supporter of Artpodgotovka, and then for publishing a post on her VKontakte page about her first arrest.

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    8 February: investigators search Gamil Asatullin's home. Source: Andrey Lepekhin. An activist of the environmental movement STOP GOK, which campaigns to halt the construction of a mining and processing plant in Chelyabinsk, who had been charged with attempted arson, has been released from a pre-trial detention centre and placed under house arrest. The day after his release, his home was searched.

  • In Tuva police arrested a number of orphans who have been seeking to obtain the housing to which they are entitled by law. Many of them were held in custody for almost 48 hours.

Thank you

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