AST-Moscow Statement on the Detention of Elena Bezrukova and Alexander Ognev
November 18, 2015
Police raided the Moscow flat of leftist activist Elena Bezrukova in the early morning of November 18. They searched her home, and our comrade was detained and taken to the Troparevo-Nikulino police station. As of this writing, police officers have refused to provide any information, denying that our comrade is being questioned. Police are denying her basic human rights by not allowing contact with loved ones. Attorney Dmitry Dinze has also not been allowed to see her.
Currently, the whereabouts of our comrade Alexander Ognev, the police’s principal target, are unknown. A native of Lipetsk, Ognev organized protest rallies in his hometown during the nationwide mass protests of 2011–2012. Ognev’s civic stance has come back to haunt him in way that has become common in Putinist Russia. The document exempting him from military service miraculously disappeared from his medical records, and then Ognev received a draft notice. As a conscientious objector, he ignored the call-up, after which he was summoned to the Investigative Committee for questioning. Ognev was then taken to the military recruiting office, where he was illegally detained for three days, choked, and threatened to be sent to “a unit in Dagestan from which [he] would not come back alive.” After his release, the opposition activist’s bruises were documented.
Today’s search was connected with plans to file desertion charges against Ognev. It is not clear how it is possible to desert the regular army without spending a single day in the service, but Russian investigators, who serve the criminal regime now established in the Russian Federation, have their own way of thinking, which is not accessible to ordinary citizens.
At this moment we are doing everything possible to find out what has happened to Elena and Alexander and facilitate their release. We are hoping for the best, but Russian realities are such that we should be mentally prepared for any eventuality. Now we really need the support of all libertarian activists. Circulate information and make plans for protest rallies against the latest politically motivated criminal charges, which may be filed against our allies. Remember that only the solidarity of working people can break this system, which cynically ignores basic human rights.