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Human Rights Defenders Demand Police Officers who Concealed their Badges at the March of Millions be Punished

Source: (info), 21/05/12

· Right of assembly  · Ministry of Internal Affairs  · Persecution of activists  · Public protests

On 21 May Agora Human Rights Association addressed the General Procurator of Russia, Yury Chaika, and the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Sergei Gerasimov, with a call to identify police officers who hid their badges during the protest demonstrations in Moscow on 6-7 May and thereby violated the law “On the Police” (Article 25, Clause 4).

The human rights defenders are asking that appropriate checks be carried out and that adequate measures be taken, including with regard to police management for “showing indulgence towards such violations”, Agora reports.

“Concealment of their badges by the police once more confirms that at these public events the police were initially intent on committing illegal actions and took measures to hamper any investigation and check into the legality of their actions. This type of behaviour violates the principles of openness, publicity, and public trust, which are consolidated in the law “On the Police,” the address states.

Information that during the protest demonstrations police officers concealed their badges has been revealed in the media. Article 50 of the law “On the Police” – “Public oversight of police action” - has allowed Agora to carry out an independent investigation during which the facts described in the publications were confirmed.

В феврале этого года заместитель главы МВД России Сергей Герасимов во время презентации новой полицейской формы в присутствии журналистов заявил, что полицейских, скрывающих жетоны и нагрудные знаки, будут привлекать к строгой дисциплинарной ответственности вплоть до увольнения.

In February of this year the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergei Gerasimov, during a presentation of new police uniforms in the presence of journalists revealed that police officers concealing their identifying badges would be severely disciplined, right up to dismissal.

Human rights defenders must be informed in writing within the space of a month about measures taken with regard to the police who were mobilised for the demonstrations on 6-7 May and who hid their badges. This is the time period for consideration of the appeal established by law.