Second report on ‘Bolotnaya case’ made public

posted 21 Dec 2013, 13:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Dec 2013, 13:30 ]
13 December 2013

Source: (info)
At a session of the Round Table of 12 December in Moscow, the head of the INDEM Foundation, Georgy Satarov presented a draft of the second report by the independent public commission investigating the events that took place on Bolotnaya Square on 6 May 2012 and thereafter, reports, citing the website of the Round Table.

The second report deals with the trials of the ‘Bolotnaya prisoners’. On the basis of documents made public during the trial, records of the court hearings, and the personal opinions of members of the commission of the Round Table who regularly attended the court sessions, the report concludes that all of the defendants without exception are innocent of the charges brought against them.

"A trial must have a subject and clear limits. There must be a document entitled ‘charges’ and each of its points must be related to the actions of each particular individual. There was no such thing at the trial of Mikhail Kosenko, nor at the trial of the 12,” the lawyer Vadim Kliugvant pointed out in his commentary.

According to Georgy Satarov, during the trials the view of the commission put forward in the first report was wholly confirmed. According to this view, what happened on 6 May мая 2012 on Bolotnaya Square had been pre-planned by the authorities as a large-scale act of lawlessness. "From this can be deduced one more conclusion: the trials that have taken place are the natural continuation of this political plan which began to be implemented by the current authorities on 6 May 2012", Satarov pointed out.

Participants in the meeting also discussed the issue of the amnesty. They believe that it cannot be called broad in nature. “An amnesty of this kind will not apply to a majority of the ‘Bolotnaya prisoners’ who are completely innocent. Tens of thousands of people who have not committed any crimes of violence and represent no danger to the public will remain behind bars. At the same time, amnesties for law enforcement officers who have been convicted for using unlawful violence against citizens have not been ruled out," the meeting stated in its resolution.

Participants in the Round Table are demanding that there be a broad amnesty that corresponds to the initial draft proposal, prepared by the Human Rights Council.

At the meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, the main report was delivered by Mikhail Kasyanov, co-chair of RPR-PARNAS. He said that the country is falling into an ever deeper economic and political crisis. Society must prepare to meet it, “concentrating its energies on building public trust in the democratic opposition, working out a programme of urgent measures to bring the country out of the crisis."

Other speakers included Mikhail Krasnov, a professor at the Higher School of Economics, and political scientists Liliya Shevtsova and Leonid Sheinis. They said that the 20th anniversary of the Constitution was taking place during a severe constitutional crisis. In this situation it is necessary to counteract the authorities’ efforts to change the current Constitution, and to popularize the values of the Constitution.

On 22 April the public commission of human rights defenders, journalists and representatives of the arts published a report on the conclusions of an independent investigation into the events of 6 May 2012. The hearings were organized by the Round Table of 12 December, RPR-PARNAS and the Committee of 6 May.

The public commission gathered evidence from more than 600 witnesses of the events on Bolotnaya Square, analyzed photographs and videos of the events. The commission concluded that there were no riots on Bolotnaya Square, but that participants in a peaceful demonstration that had official permission who were unlawfully detained and brutally beaten by the police had acted in self-defence. "The evidence gathered undoubtedly shows that the clashes of the demonstrators with law enforcement resulted from the large-scale and purposeful actions of the representatives of authority,” the report states.

In addition to Georgy Satarov, members of the commission are Ludmila Alekseeva, Zoya Svetova, Valery Borshchev, Olga Romanova, Aleksei Simonov, Lev Ponomarev, Liya Akhedzhakova, Garri Bardin, Vladimir Voinovich, Vitaly Mansky, Natalya Fateeva, Igor Yasulovich, Andrei Smirnov, Yury Norshtein, Vladimir Mirzoev, Lev Rubinshtein, Yury Ryzhov, Dmitry Zimin, Evgeny Yasin, Sergei Parkhomenko, Vladimir Korsunsky, Aleksandr Ryklin, Aleksandr Podrabinek and Mitya Aleshkovsky. Human rights defender Natalya Gorbanevskaya was also a member of the public commission.