Support campaign for people charged in Bolotnaya case continues

11 April 2013 

Vera Vasilieva 

The campaign to support the Bolotnaya prisoners, which began with a rally in Novopushkinsky Garden in Moscow on 6 April 2013, is continuing. The campaign is being organised by the Opposition Coordinating Council. From 7 April, every day is being dedicated to one of the 27 people charged in the Bolotnaya case. The campaign will culminate in a mass protest on 6 May to mark the first anniversary of the events in Bolotnaya Square.

As part of the One Day - One Name campaign, activists will conduct one-person pickets, including outside the building of the Investigative Committee, and hand out leaflets. Taking part are famous politicians, public figures and representatives from the world of culture.

In particular, writers Evgeny Grishkovets and Vladimir Voinovich, journalist Sergei Parkhomenko, and political and public figure Georgy Satarov have appeared on promotional videos posted on the Internet.

April 11 is dedicated to Denis Lutskevich, who celebrates his 21st birthday on that day. In 2011, Denis Lutskevich was selected as one of the best marines to march in Red Square in the Victory Day Parade on 9 May.

Lutskevich is a student at the State Academic University for the Humanities, and an assistant to the Dean of Cultural Studies.

The former marine went to Bolotnaya Square with his fellow students and lecturers. He had never been to a rally before, held no particular opposition views and dreamed of joining the Federal Security Service (FSB).

On 6 May Denis tried to help a young woman who was being dragged away by the OMON riot police right in front of him, for which he was arrested and severely beaten. Pictures of his back covered in scars inflicted by police truncheons appeared all over the Internet.

On 18 June 2012 the Investigative Committee charged Lutskevich.

On 7 August the Basmanny Court in Moscow extended Lutskevich's detention until 6 November. On 2 November 2012 the Basmanny Court extended Lutskevich's detention until 6 March 2013. And on 27 February the Basmanny Court extended his detention further until 9 June.

This week the people taking part in the support campaign also reminded people of Andrei Barabanov, graduate of the Moscow Mathematics College, Ilya Gushchin, student at the Moscow State University of Psychology and Education and active oppositionist, Artem Savelov, sportsman and former Moscow Metro employee, and 17-year-old Aleksandra Dukhanina, student at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), civil activist and Tsagovsky Forest defender.

Almost all those implicated in the Bolotnaya case are charged with taking part in mass disturbances (Part 2 of Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code) and using violence not posing a danger to the life and health of representatives of authority (Part 1 of Article 318 of the Russian Criminal Code).

Meanwhile, the general view of lawyers working for the RosUznik project, which provides legal aid to civic activists arrested for participating in political protests, is that there were no mass disturbances in Bolotnaya Square. There were isolated skirmishes with the police, provoked by the police officers themselves. Lawyers for those arrested believe that mass disturbances should be accompanied by additional violations of the law, such as arson, looting, the beating up of civilians, etc. At Bolotnaya Square, however, the only thing on this list that happened was the overturning of two portable toilets, which had been set up there by the rally organisers.

Those currently being held in detention in connection with the Bolotnaya case are: Leonid Razvozzhaev, Denis Lutskevich, Vladimir Akimenkov, Yaroslav Belousov, Mikhail Kosenko, Artem Savelov, Andrei Barabanov, Stepan Zimin, Nikolai Kavkazsky, Aleksei Polikhovich, Leonid Kovyazin, Sergei Krivov, Ilya Gushchin, Aleksandr Margolin and Dmitry Rukavishnikov.

Under house arrest are: Sergei Udaltsov, Konstantin Lebedev and Aleksandra Dukhanina.

Released on bail and under travel restrictions are: Maria Baronova, Rikhard Sobolev, Fedor Bakhov, Oleg Arkhipenkov and Elena Kokhtareva.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Anastasia Rybachenko.

Maksim Luzyanin has already been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, despite his agreement to a plea bargain.

However, RosUznik believes this list could expand to include over 80 people. Coordinators of the project have published data on people for whom information is held in the Bolotnaya case investigation materials and who could join the ranks of the accused. "If you see your name on this list, then bear in mind that the investigators may soon take an interest in you. If you see the name of any of your friends or family on it, please let them know," RosUznik said.

Those taking part in the support campaign for the Bolotnaya prisoners hope that the campaign, including the rally on 6 May, will garner huge public support. In the opinion of civil activists, the reaction of society to the Bolotnaya case will be instrumental in deciding whether there will be further arrests.