Arrests and trials: Moscow activists in crosshairs


On July 29, Moscow district courts ordered opposition activists Ilya Yashin, Konstantin Yankauskas and Alexander Solovyov held. Dmitry Gudkov and several other persons who were about to run for a seat in the Moscow City Duma, may also face arrest.

They were detained during Saturday’s protest rally that was held in the centre of Moscow for the admission of independent candidates to the Moscow City Duma elections. During the dispersal of the protesters, law enforcers used batons and stun guns and grabbed 1,388 people.

In addition, a criminal case was opened against a participant of the rally. Yevgeny Kovalenko is charged with assaulting a police officer, Pavel Chikov, Head of the international human rights group Agora, reports. The court has already arrested Kovalenko for two months.

On July 24, the police searched homes of might-have-been candidates over ‘creating difficulties to election commissions’. The Investigative Committee states that the opposition activists intended to thwart their activity and staged the rallies near the building of the Moscow City Election Commission. The corresponding criminal case was opened shortly before the raids under Art. 141 of the Criminal Code, which may carry punishment of up to 5 years in prison.

Last Wednesday, the riot police arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny over his call on Muscovites to take part in the unauthorised rally on July, 27. The politician has to spend 30 days in jail, so does activist Mark Galperin. Konstantin Kotov and Alexander Archagov got a 10-day term in custody each.

On July 28, Navalny was taken to hospital due to a ‘severe allergic reaction’. Physician Anastasia Vasilyeva, who earlier treated Navalny, does not rule out that ‘toxic damage’ to the skin and mucous membranes was caused by an unknown chemical substance and is the result of the action of a third person.

Russian opposition leader in hospital. Allergic reaction or poisoning?

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