Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russian Policeman Charged For Beating Protesters

Posted by Info on 26/08/2010

Russian opposition movements hold rallies on the last day of each month with 31 days in honor of Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly and the right to demonstrate. The rallies are always “unsanctioned” as the local authorities deny the opposition permission to hold the protests.

Police routinely break up unsanctioned opposition rallies across the country, but the July 31 crackdown in St. Petersburg was particularly heavy-handed, with dozens injured and hauled away in police buses. Moscow police detained up to 170 people.

Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin urged a thorough inquiry into “savage and inappropriate” crackdown on an opposition rally in Moscow.
Lukin, who was at the rally, said police actions were “a serious step backwards” in the implementation of the constitutional right for peaceful assembly. “The interior ministry should carry out a thorough investigation into what had happened. The Moscow and federal authorities must initiate this investigation.”

The officer, whose name is not known but is called “Pearly” on the Internet and in the media due to the pearl beads on his wrist, addressed the protesters with the words: “Hey ferrets, who wants some more?” – a salutation that was met with booing and cries of “Fascist!”
St. Petersburg investigators said, adding that if found guilty, the officer could face up to 10 years in prison.

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