Human rights defender Aleksei Glukhov reports on acts of repression against participants in anti-corruption protests

posted 13 Apr 2017, 03:19 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Apr 2017, 03:20 ]
6 April 2017


The approaches of local authorities and law-enforcement agencies to protestors [who took part in the anti-corruption demonstrations of 26 March 2017] differed across Russia’s regions, according to lawyer and human rights defender Aleksei Glukhov. As Gukhov points out, however, those arrested were declared guilty by the courts almost everywhere, and almost no-one was acquitted.

As reported by the Rosbalt news agency, Glukhov noted that "The authorities reacted differently on the day of the protests in the various regions. In some places — notably Moscow, Dagestan and Krasnodar — participants in peaceful demonstrations were arrested on the spot and handed over to the police, and the courts subsequently handed down virtually identical judgements.”

"Southern Russia and Moscow differed from other regions in the very large number of jail sentences handed down to protesters under administrative law. In Krasnodar, the detention centre was packed out with protestors. There was even an unwritten rule in force, according to which people were not to be jailed on other charges. But in other places, such as Yekaterinburg, detainees were put into buses parked close to where the protests were held; those arrested were charged and then, reportedly, released and told to wait until they were summoned to court,” Glukhov said.

"In Chuvashia, by contrast, no arrests were made on the day of the anti-corruption demonstrations. But later, people were arrested at work or elsewhere, taken to court and fined between 500 and 1,000 roubles [UK£7.05 – £14.10] on charges of non-compliance with the lawful demands of police officers," Glukhov reported.

Glukhov said he knew of about a hundred court cases relating to the 26 March 2017 protests. What all regions had in common was that almost all the detainees were found guilty, and the judgements handed down by the courts were all virtually identical, even where the courts themselves differed. At present, there is only one known case where the accused was found not guilty. "In Nizhny Tagil [Sverdlovsk Region],” Glukhov said, “one of those who attended the anti-corruption protest was acquitted on the grounds that he had not been a participant and had not carried a placard, but had merely streamed the event using Periscope [a live video streaming app for mobile phones]."

Translated by Elizabeth Teague