Woman Arrested at Lubyanka Protest Declares Hunger Strike

18 December 2012 

Source: HRO.org (info)
Justice of the Peace Aleksei Stekliev has sentenced Vera Lavreshina, a civil society activist arrested on 15 December on Lubyanka Square, to ten days detention under Article 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences, reports Grani.ru, citing OVD-Info. She has declared a hunger strike, abstaining from both food and water.

Lavreshina was charged with “refusing to obey a police officer” after refusing to give her name to officers, and was detained for 48 hours while they established her identity.

Several thousand people participated in the public protest on Lubyanka Square on 15 December at which 69 people were arrested. Most were arrested under Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences (violating the rules for holding a public meeting) and later released. Aleksei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov, Ilya Yashin and Ksenya Sobchak were all detained at Tekstilshchiki Police Station before being released without charge.

Lavreshina had previously been sentenced to 15 days detention under Article 19.3 of the Administrative Offences Code for her part in a protest on Red Square on 16 October. Two other protesters Olga Faleeva and Anastasia Zinovkin a were also arrested and sentenced to 10 and 7 days respectively. Their protest was to call for the release of one of the 6th May prisoners Vladimir Akimenkov. They unfurled a banner with the words “Free Vladimir Akimenkov” next to the Mausoleum and set fire to two flares. When police attempted to remove their banner, the protesters chained themselves together on the cobbles and continued to shout slogans. They were taken to the Kitai Gorod Police Station and detained overnight.

On 5 March, Lavreshina was arrested together with other political activists after attempting to hold a protest outside the Central Electoral Commission. Nine of them refused to give their names to police in protest at their illegal detention and beatings. Vera Lavreshina, Nadezhda Nizovkina, Irina Kalmykova, Irina Travkina, Pavel Shekhtman and Gennady Stroganov all declared hunger strike. They were finally released on 7 March from the Zamoskvoreche Police Station. Tatiana Kadieva, who was arrested alongside them, was savagely beaten during detention. She was sent to the First City Hospital on 7th March. Doctors found that her nose had been broken in several places and diagnosed her with concussion and possible brain haemorrhage.

On 28 February, Vera Lavreshina refused to give her name to police and was handed over to a psychiatrist at the Arbat police station. She was released following a medical examination. Lavreshina had already been sent to a psychiatric hospital and kept there overnight by police following a protest on 21 February. A medical commission held the following morning found no grounds to keep her in the hospital. Vera Lavreshina said that she had been submitted for psychiatric treatment by police as punishment for demanding her rights as a prisoner at the Basmanny Police Station.