No torture, no picketing


26 June 2009

Today at 12.00 the Committee against Torture went on picketing in Teatralnaya square (Bolshaya Pokrovskaya Street).

In the place of the picket the Committee staff unfolded banners with the following slogans: “Responsible for tortures must be punished”, “Inaction of the Prosecutor’s Office is the cause of tortures”, “26 June – International Day in Support of Victims of Torture”, “Prohibition of torture; effective investigation; fair trial”. The picketing was attended by victims of police abuse who had graciously agreed to support the Committee’s action.

You may remember that the Committee had failed to get an approval from the local administration. Already at 11.00 all drive-ways to the Drama Theatre were filled up with police officers wearing uniform; a truck full of SPF staff was parked nearby. When the picket started a law enforcement agent gave several public reproofs and after that started detaining the picketers. The police did not detain the organizers, but only those who helped to hold the banners.

All reporters present at the picketing had a chance to make some photos and interview the organizers.

All in all 5 people were detained and taken to the Nizhegorodsky district Directorate of the Interior. The banners were withdrawn.

Later the Interregional Committee against Torture conducted a press-conference for mass media representatives.

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