On January 31, Anastasiya Demidas was covering the protests against the persecution of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for Vot-Tak.tv, a news portal Belsat TV launched for Russian-speaking viewers.
The Moscow police grabbed the journalist not far from the Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison, where Navalny is being held. The policemen detained our contributor twice. At first, she was allowed to leave. Then, however, the officers, took Anastasiya to the prison truck although she repeatedly said she was working and showed them an official document confirming her performance of editorial tasks.
The reporter spent the night in a small cell at the police station, she had to sleep in a sitting position. On Monday morning, the detainee was tried in Gagarinsky district court and found guilty of participating in an unauthorised rally (Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences).
According to her, the court also refused to admit the document issued by the editorial office into evidence. As a result, Anastasiya Demidas was sentenced to four days of administrative arrest; it was not reported which detention centre she was taken to.
Over 5,000 people were detained at Sunday’s protests across Russia, which is a record number for any protest rally in modern Russian history. Most of the detainees were in Moscow (around 1,5o0), St. Petersburg (nearly 1,000), and Krasnoyarsk (194).