Myanmar security forces continue violent crackdown against protesters
Russian experts on the suppression of the protest movement in Moscow
Municipal deputy and unregistered candidate for the Moscow City Duma Yulia Galyamina was arrested for the third time in a row – this time for 10 days, media reported. She is accused of “organizing or holding a public event without approval” for a post on social networks about the protest action on August 3.
The arguments of Galyamina’s lawyer Mikhail Biryukov, who emphasized that the post of his client dated July 29 cannot be considered a call to go to an uncoordinated rally on August 3, since the city authorities had not yet made a decision on the approval of the event by the judge, were ignored. According to the lawyer, none of his requests were granted..
In total, the municipal deputy, who also teaches at the Higher School of Economics, has already served 25 days, including 15 days for taking part in the action on July 27, which “entailed obstructing traffic.”.
A similar story is happening with other independent candidates for the Moscow City Duma. Thus, Konstantin Yankauskas and Ivan Zhdanov walked through the prison circle more than once. And Ilya Yashin is serving his fourth term in a row.
Since August 8, he has not been released. Each time, law enforcement officers take him at the exit from the detention center. Then the trial – and the next 10 days. Yashin himself calls the trial on Facebook a “cheap staging”, reads Franz Kafka’s “Trial” in his camera and, according to him, finds in this novel many analogies with Russian reality.
Ilya Yashin’s lawyer Vadim Prokhorov, who also represents the interests of Boris Nemtsov’s family, said in an interview with the Voice of America Russian Service: “Not only is a series of such arrests in itself evidence of a new round of lawlessness in the country, but they are also in full swing. in the midst of the election campaign. If after that the authorities say something about the presence of clean, transparent elections, it means that they are laughing in our eyes “.
According to the lawyer, the election process in Russia has finally turned into a “special operation of the security forces.” “In addition, these endless arrests of opposition leaders, which are obviously carried out in order not to be released at least until election day, show a high degree of fear of the regime before the real opposition, and not before the pocket and tame opposition that is supposedly is sitting in the Duma “, – he stated.
Elections to the Moscow City Duma within the framework of a single voting day will be held on September 8 this year.
Vadim Prokhorov stressed that the actions in Moscow were held peacefully, so the authorities have no grounds for repression..
“In general, this aggravation of the situation is especially dangerous for the current government because it also coincides with an acute economic crisis, and there is no longer any suitable piece of land like Crimea to throw the bone to the electorate. Therefore, the chaos is intensifying. But, from my point of view, the night is darkest before dawn, “he summed up.
Meanwhile, media outlets on Thursday reported that the capital’s mayor’s office refused all three applicants to hold a march and rally in the city center on 31 August. In general, after the rally on August 10, held on Sakharov Avenue and gathered about 50 thousand participants, the authorities no longer approved a single action in Moscow..
Vadim Prokhorov believes that by doing so, the authorities deprive citizens of any opportunity to express their attitude to what is happening in spite of all the guidelines of international legal institutions and openly provoke a further increase in social tension.
Director of the Public Verdict Foundation Natalya Taubina agrees that during the capital’s actions the law was violated by the security forces, not by the protesters.
“All the actions were of an exclusively peaceful nature,” she said in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America. “Citizens have the right to express their opinions in this way”.
Taubina also saw no reason to initiate criminal proceedings for “alleged mass riots.” “Moreover, the law enforcement agencies also had no grounds for mass arrests,” she emphasizes. – People walked with markedly peaceful intentions, periodically shouting something. This is not a reason for detentions, moreover arbitrary, when someone was simply snatched from the crowd and placed in a paddy wagon. What can we say about cases of use of violence by law enforcement agencies … But there were also broken arms, and blows to the head, to the stomach – anywhere. The worst thing is that they beat women. “.
Natalia Taubina emphasizes: these are criminal acts. At the same time, relying on previous practice, she expressed serious doubt that representatives of law enforcement agencies can be brought to justice in such cases, although she promised to do everything possible for this..