Today in Nizhny Novgorod the police has detained more than 20 participants of the action “For fair elections” against falsification of recent State Duma election results.
Today in Nizhny Novgorod in Svoboda Square there was an opposition rally “For fair elections”. According to preliminary data, there were from 1000 to 2500 people in the square. Once again the authorities had refused to give an approval to the protest. Employees of INGO “Committee Against Torture” were present in Svoboda Square as observers. ICAT traditionally engages in such monitoring to evaluate the situation with human rights observance and compliance with the norms and principles of international law.
Detentions started almost right away. Around 10 people were detained within the first minutes of the rally. The police put detainees into PAZ-type buses shouting “Shame on you!”. Among the first detainees there were famous Nizhny Novgorod human rights defender Stanislav Dmitrievsky and Strategy-31 activist Ilya Shamazov. They can be charged with opposing the police and violating the rules on conducting rallies.
Meanwhile, the action went on. The protesters were chanting slogans, distributing white ribbons and were not aggressive at all. In general, they were doing just the same things as they used to do during the authorized rally in Minin square on December 10. In must be noted that no one had been detained then.
After Andrey Shmonin, Nizhny Novgorod Regional Directorate of the Interior deputy head for public order and safety, announced via a loudspeaker that the rally was unauthorized, detentions continued.
The most active participants were snatched out of the crowd and placed in buses. After the protesters tried to prevent the buses from driving away from the square, the SPF used violence. More than 20 people were detained altogether. The police were ignoring numerous demands of detained individuals urging law enforcers to comply with the Police Act (introduce themselves, produce their IDs, explain the reason for detention, etc.) and were simply shouting “Down to work!”, “Next one, go!”, etc. The Committee Against Torture has not received applications alleging ill-treatment or reports of injuries yet. At the same time, we have to conclude that rallies in our city again result in detention of dozens of most active oppositionist.
Buses with detainees leaving the square