OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 28: Last Sunday’s “Revolution” in Numbers

posted 10 Nov 2017, 04:37 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 10 Nov 2017, 08:34 ]
10 November 2017

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday it sends out a mailing with the latest information on freedom of assembly, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here. These English translations of OVD-Info's weekly bulletins are published by openDemocracy and are republished here by kind permission with due acknowledgement.

This week, the Russian authorities have detained 484 people on the streets. The pretext? A crackdown on an attempted nationalist revolution.

The day of the “revolution”, 484 people were detained throughout Russia:

In Moscow, 404 were detained, including 22 who were going out to eat after attending the latest in the series of Adam Smith Lectures at the Higher School of economics, at least 20 playing Pokémon Go, and a young man with disabilities travelling on a push-scooter.

In St. Petersburg, police detained 21 people, of whom eight were spectators at the Festival of Light and three who are supporters of the reorganization of St Petersburg and Leningrad region into the “Autonomous Republic of Free Ingriya.” According to the latter three, at the time they were detained a pistol with bullets, a grenade and a Molotov Cocktail were planted in their car. Currently, travel restrictions have been imposed on them, and a criminal investigation is underway on charges of “possession of weapons by a group of people.”

In Novosibirsk, police detained 20 people (an approximate figure), one of whom has been remanded in custody for two months on charges of preparing and inciting large-scale riots.

In Rostov-on-Don, police detained 13 people. One man was beaten by police in an effort to force him to confess to a crime.  At the police station, among other things, the police confiscated his glasses and a pen knife.

In Krasnodar, ten people were detained, three of them minors.

In Perm, police detained eight people.

In Krasnodar, seven people were detained, one of whom had been picketing a local government building. The latter was subsequently released from the police station without any charges being brought and returned to the government building to continue his picket.

Iin Saratov, police detained one person, also holding a single-person picket.

In Moscow:

60 people were held for a whole day in police vans.

Detainees were taken to 32 different police stations. In at least 14 police stations, detainees were questioned by officers who arrived from the Investigative Committee. In almost all cases, detainees were not allowed to see lawyers, and at one police station a priest was not allowed in.    

Between 5 and 7 November, 87 people were held in police stations.

52 people were jailed for terms from eight to 15 days in three different special detention centres for “failing to comply with the demands of a police officer.”

Seven detainees were held for at least 12 hours in a police van in front of special detention centre No. 1, without being able either to go to the toilet or to drink water. One of them was held in a van for 24 hours.

Four minors were questioned both by police and by officers from the Investigative Committee.

Two criminal investigations have been opened: one regarding alleged use of force against a police officer; a second regarding alleged incitement to mass rioting and carrying out terrorist activity.

One person’s jail sentence was quashed on appeal.

In total, at least nine criminal investigations have been opened in relation to the events in question: in Saratov, Novosibirsk, Кaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Кazan, Volgograd, Krasnoyarsk and Мoscow (2).

As promised, we conclude this week’s Bulletin with an item of good news: Dmitry Buchenkov, a defendant in the Bolotnaya Square case who had not been present on Bolotnaya Square that day, has absconded from house arrest. At present, he is in one of the countries of the European Union where he has asked for political asylum.

We wish Dmitry and his family the best of luck.

Thank you!

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For more information on OVD-Info, read this article from the organisation's founder on how OVD is breaking the civil society mould here.