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Petition Started for Release of Film Director Bogatov

Source: (info), 30/05/12

· Persecution of activists  · Public protests  · Moscow city & Moscow region

Film makers have started collecting signatures for the release of the director Vasily Bogatov, who was detained on Monday 28 May during the dispersal of the protest camp near the Moscow City Court and was sentenced to 7 days in jail for disobeying police.

"This is a first for the protests - 7 DAYS in a cage for a person who as a matter of principle was not participating in events but who was simply doing his professional duty and filming," reads the online petition, which has been signed by the directors Oleg Dorman, Alexander Kott, Vladimir Mirzoev, Valery Balayan, critics Naum Kleiman and Evgeny Margolit, actor Dmitry Pevtsov, translator Natalya Mavlevich and others.

The authors of the petition are also demanding the release of the activist Arkady Alenichev who was detained along with Bogatov and sentenced to 10 days. The court refused to view a video recording of the arrest. Two young women detained at the camp, Nadezhda Posypanova and Taisiya Krugovykh, were fined. During her detention, Posypanova's arm was twisted and she was struck in the face, according to the petition. All those detained will appeal against the court's decision and lodge complaints against the police, reports

The camp opposite the Moscow City Court in support of the arrested members of Pussy Riot is in its third week. On Monday 28 May police demanded that the crowd disperse and clear away the camp. People began to tidy things up, after which they were detained.

On 26 May around 20 people had attacked the "OccupyCourt" camp, destroying an awning and smashing technical equipment.

An indefinite protest in support of Pussy Riot began after the decision of the Moscow City Court to prolong the arrest of the alleged participants of the group Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. They were charged under Article 213, Section 2 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and they face up to seven years in prison. Alekhina, Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich have been in custody since 3 March.

At the beginning of April, Amnesty International recognised Alekhina, Tolokonnikova and Samutsevich as prisoners of conscience.