In No Mood for Songs and Dialogues
July 2, 2016
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Last week, Moscow courts left two suspects in the Bolotnaya Square case, Dmitry Buchenkov and Maxim Panfilov, in police custody, along with Petersburg architect Sergei Akhmetov, accused of tearing epaulettes from a policeman’s uniform during a gathering in support of Alexei Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov. Curiously, police investigators have been unable to produce convincing evidence that Buchenkov and Akhmetov were actually at the scene of the crimes of which they have been accused.
Other Criminal Prosecutions
No less predictable was the rejection of Oleg Navalny’s petition for parole, especially considering the fact that, a week before his court hearing, he received three reprimands for poor conduct at the penal colony where he has been imprisoned.
Totally unpredictable, however, was the return to Moscow of Ildar Dadin, sentenced to two and a half years in a prison colony for “repeated violations” at public protests. Dadin had been held for over two months in a Petersburg remand prison, and it was anticipated that sooner or later he would be transferred to a penal colony. For some reason, however, this has not happened.
News came of the first criminal charges filed for “willful refusal” to obey the law on “foreign agents.” Charges were filed against Valentina Cherevatenko, chair of Women of the Don Foundation.
Shapi Biyakiyev, a Petersburg trucker involved in the recent nationwide protests by truckers against the new Plato toll system, was charged with using violence against a police officer.
The week would not be complete without news of more “extremism” cases. Yuri Yekishev, a support of Colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, was arrested. He has been accused of having incited hatred with a video recording. Perm resident Vladimir Luzgin was found guilty of rehabilitating Nazism and fined 200,000 rubles for reposting an article about collaboration between “communists and Nazis” during WWII. But the case of Stavropol resident Viktor Krasnov, accused of offending the feelings of religious believers, has been suspended, because the court has expressed its doubts as to the legitimacy of the forensic examination of Krasnov’s statements, taken out of context from an online discussion.
In Hurzuf, Crimea, residents upset that a local beach had been transferred to the Artek Young Pioneers Camp were detained by police. Meanwhile, in Moscow, tempers flared around construction of the so-called Northeast Chord highway. First, a cyclist was detained for protesting the felling of trees in Kuskovo Park, and then people opposed to the felling of trees on Krasny Kazanets Street in Veshnyaki were detained.
“Murder of 200-Year-Old Oak in Kuskovo Park,” posted July 2, 2016, by Ecowalker First
Moscow police also detained people in a hunger strike organized by the Moscow Queue Waiters [i.e., ocheredniki, people on a waiting list for affordable housing—TRR] twice in a single day outside the constituent reception offices of the ruling United Russia party. When the detainees were released from a police station after the first detention, they went back to the reception offices and were rearrested. But Makhachkala outdid everyone: around eighty believers were detained after Friday prayers outside a Salafist mosque. Meanwhile, Dagestan public figure and parliamentary candidate Rasul Ismailov was detained in Khasavyurt.
Cellist Semyon Lashkin, detained last week while busking in Moscow, was fined 10,000 rubles for “deliberately creating a crowd and preventing pedestrian movement.”
Other Forms of Persecution
An unnamed 23-year-old resident of Salekhard was sentenced to five days in jail for posting “extremist” music, presumably songs by Krovostok and Kolovrat, on a social network.
Daniil Alexandrov, a freelance correspondent for online newspaper Meduza, was ticketed for working without accreditation in Karelia, where he gone to cover the story of the children who died on Lake Syamozero.
FSB agents raided the Mayakovsky Library in Petersburg in connection with the fact that it served as the venue for Dialogues, monthly public discussions of political topics. The project’s founder, Nikolai Solodnikov, resigned his post at the library, which will no longer host the events.
In Krasnodar, people involved in solo pickets against the policies of current Mayor Vladimir Yevlanov and in support of Communist Party MP Sergei Obukhov were assaulted, while in Kemerovo, local opposition activist Stanislav Kaliniсhenko was detained, taken to a police station, and, allegedly, beaten up by police.
Karelian village council member Vladimir Zavarkin, sentenced to a fine for calling for a referendum to decide whether the republic should secede from Russia, was stripped of his mandate.
Two plus two does not always make four: how Russian courts calculate prison terms in criminal cases and jail terms in administrative cases.
Translated by the Russian Reader