Source: HRO.org (info), 21/06/11
· Protest campaigns · Baikal Region
Nadezhda Nizovkina, the civil rights activist on hunger strike in a Chita hospital, is being force-fed, according to information received from the human rights defender, Oksana Chelysheva.
Grani.ru reports that Nadezhda Nizovkina has been imprisoned for protesting against the closure of rural schools. She intends to resume her hunger strike as soon as she returns to her cell. According to information from Chita.ru, the psychiatrist who examined Nizovkina deemed her of sound mind.
Three villages in the Chita region, Peski, Myasokombinat, and Sovkhoz, were incorporated into the administrative framework of Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky. Their rural schools were closed by a decision of the municipal authorities, and residents were told that they could transfer their children to a city school. Firstly however, there are too few school places for all the children, and secondly, getting to the city from these villages takes a long time, and is expensive. The authorities even refused to organise bus transportation of the village children to the school, saying that “children’s education is the responsibility of the parents.”
Nadezhda Nizovkina and Tatiana Stetsura arrived in Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky on 11 June to support local residents gathering at a rally against the school closures. However, at the outset, Petrovsk-Zabaikalsy municipal officials spoke rudely to the assembled group, and on 12 June, Russia Day, used police to disperse the crowd. Nadezhda Nizovkina, Tatiana Stetsura, and local activist Natalya Filonova, were arrested and held overnight in the police station. They were not, however, released the next day, being told that their trial would not be held until 14 June.
The court sentenced Nizovkina to 10 days in prison, Filonova to 7 days, and Stetsura to 5 days. They were taken to Chita to serve their sentences. The young women said they would hold a hunger-strike until their release.
Stetsura was released on 17 June. She claims that during a walk on 16 June Nadezhda Nizovkina fainted and was hospitalized in an intensive care unit. Stetsura says that in spite of her release from prison, she will continue her hunger-strike until the release of Filonova and Nizovkina.
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