Person of the Week: Mark Galperin

posted 13 Feb 2017, 07:57 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 13 Feb 2017, 08:02 ]
On 9 February 2017 civil rights activist Mark Galperin was jailed for 10 days for 'failing to obey the lawful instructions of a police officer' (Article 19.3 of the Russian Administrative Code).

On 7 February 2017 Galperin had been detained at his Moscow apartment. Police broke down his apartment door and took him forcibly to a police station. As RFE/RL reported, Galperin described the incident in a post on Facebook. RFE/RL cites' Galperin's lawyer, Ksenia Kostromina, as saying at the time that her client was told he would be interrogated, but she did not know 'the reasons of his detention or the charges he might face.' Subsequently, Vera Vasilieva, writing on Civitas, reported that Galperin had been taken to the FSB headquarters on the Lubyanka, together with a journalist who was detained the same day, Olga Sapronova, who works on the video-project Gradus-TV. 

It transpired that the FSB соnsidered that Galperin, in an interview with Sapronova, may have committed a crime under Article 280.1 of the Russian Criminal Code ('public incitement to violate the territorial integrity of Russia'). After an hour's questioning, Galperin and Sapronova were both released, on condition they did not disclose details of the investigation and bound themselves to attend any further interrogation.

However, as Vasilieva reports, Galperin was subsequently jailed on 9 February by a district court in Moscow region for ten days for violating Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation ('failing to obey the lawful instructions of a police officer'). It would seem that this related to the events at the time of his first detention, when Galperin had sought to hide from the (to him) unknown persons who were breaking down his door. Galperin has said that the police officers had not told him who they were at the time, and he jumped from the balcony of his second-floor apartment. Vasilieva also reports that a criminal case has been opened against Galperin for 'violating the regulations concerning public assembly' (Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code). This is the very same article under which Ildar Dadin was sent to prison for 2.5 years, a conviction that has just been reviewed by the Constitutional Court. 
Photo of Mark Galperin: Facebook

Russian Activist Galperin Detained In Moscow, RFE/RL, 7 February 2017
Vera Vasilieva, 'Человек с плакатом,' Civitas, 11 February 2017