Team 29: Beat, detain, convict and jail

posted 13 Aug 2019, 22:43 by Translation Service   [ updated 13 Aug 2019, 22:55 ]

2 August 2019

Hello, it’s Katya Arenina. 

The same thing is on all our minds – there are protests in Moscow and St Petersburg again today; we still haven’t escaped the past but possibly, will in the coming next few months and years. Something very worrying is happening: the authorities have chucked out all attempts of giving the appearance that any kind of democracy exists here, and have begun to beat, detain, take to court and lock up.

Yesterday the Moscow courts were choosing (and chose) pre-trial restrictions for the accused, according to the article on civil disorder at the Moscow protests on 27 July. You probably know, but it is worth a reminder all the same for those, who, for instance, were on holiday: last Sunday in Moscow there were protests for free and fair elections to the Moscow City Parliament. Many people came out: it is said around 15,000. But the protest won’t be remembered for that; of these supposed fifteen thousand people, 1373 were detained, 265 were kept overnight and 25 were beaten.

At the beginning of the week we tried to make some kind of predictions (well, not even predictions – just a discussion, what and how), but, it seems, nobody that we spoke with predicted anything so violent. The legal cases started to appear after the protest – about violent conduct towards police and civil disorder. They were later combined into one case, to be investigated by 84 investigators, and the information agency sources have already begun to be afraid, that before the end of the week the number of suspects in the case will increase to thirty people.

Here is what is written in the decision to initiate proceedings: “unidentified persons pursuing the goal of encroaching on the foundations of security and destabilising the socio-political situation in the Russian Federation […] decided to organise mass unrest in Moscow, accompanied by the presence of armed resistance to government officials. For the same purpose […] they developed a plan of illegal activity, discussing the time, place and staging of the unrest they had planned.”

In short, some unidentified persons, this means, developed a plan for those people, whom the court arrested yesterday, to “point to the right”, throw a plastic bottle, causing unbelievable physical harm to the police, and list the helmet’s visor. And this will be considered armed resistance to the authorities. So it goes.

If you are preparing right now to go to the protest, read our new memo. We have gathered all the important advice and analysed some of the behaviour of the law enforcement officers and the authorities at and after the recent protests. In addition, in July they released a participant from the last rally that the authorities suppressed: Stanislav Zimovets – he spent some two and a bit years in prison and a colony. We asked him how he served his sentence, what he plans to do now and what he thinks about the recent protests.

Here we are all trying to understand how it all happened: the wording “the campaign for the Moscow City Duma, which promised to be extremely boring” has become tired but this hasn’t stopped it being true. We tried to get a better understanding a spoke to the regional co-ordinator of Navalny’s headquarters, Leonid Volkov. It was interesting: “Either this is some kind of protest generation that has nothing to lose, or the fearless Bolotnaya people, or perhaps it’s both at the same time, but I don’t see that the standard scare tactics would work. It’s very similar to the film “V for Vendetta”: at the beginning they are scared, everyone is afraid, then everyone laughs and then they simply stop being scared.”

This newsletter turned out to be long, so read it as well as the texts, don’t get in trouble, and take care.

Katya, Team 29

Translated by Mercedes Malcomson