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The independent investigation into May events on Bolotnaya Square

31 January 2013 

Source: (info

An independent working group has questioned around two hundred witnesses of the events of 6th May 2012 on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow, Interfax reports, citing Tamara Lezhnina, a member of the working group and co-chair of the Moscow branch of the RPR-PARNAS party (The Republican Party of Russia- People’s Freedom Party).

Lezhnina explains that the information collected by the working group will be assessed by independent legal experts, human rights activists and public figures. Lezhnina stated: “We want to find out the truth about these events which, at this moment, we cannot get from the authorities.” observes that the main aim of the independent investigation is to obtain impartial answers to the following questions. Did rioting really take place? What role did law enforcement agents play in inciting the 6th May incidents? And what were the reasons why a peaceful demonstration escalated into clashes between the police and demonstrators?

The opposition announced that it would be carrying out an independent investigation into the events on Bolotnaya Square also on behalf of participants in the “12th December Round Table”. This organization was created on 12th December 2011. The announcement about the independent investigation into the “Bolotnaya case” was made exactly a year later.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has classified the clashes on Bolotnaya Square as rioting and is accusing a number of participants in the opposition “March of Millions” of having organized them. Around twenty opposition activists are involved in the “Bolotnaya case”, accused of inciting and taking part in riots and the use of force against the police.

The majority of those involved are being held in pre-trial detention. Those accused insist that there was no organized disorder on Bolotnaya Square and that only isolated clashes provoked by the authorities took place between the police and demonstrators.