Activist Kostenko Released in St. Petersburg

posted 12 Jan 2012, 02:08 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Jan 2012, 02:09 ]
Source: (info), 11/01/12 

· Electoral rights  · Protests  · St. Petersburg & Leningrad region 

On 5 January activist Filipp Kostenko was released from police detention in St. Petersburg. He was met by friends at the gates of the detention centre who let off fireworks to celebrate his release. A few hours later police officers arrived at the apartment where Kostenko lives and demanded they be let in to establish whether Kostenko and his friends were lawfully at that address. 

The police officers gave no legal basis for their demands, and Kostenko did not open the door to them. 

On 4 January St Petersburg Vasilyevsky Island district court refused to sanction the pre-trial detention of Kostenko, charged with vandalism under Article 214 (section 2) of the Criminal Code for spoiling a placard of the All-Russian People’s Front. The human rights defender was released on condition he did not leave St. Petersburg. The court agreed to these conditions on the surety given by deputies of the St. Petersburg legislative assembly, Aleksandr Kobrinsky and Boris Vishnevsky, and also by deputy of the State Duma, Ilya Ponmarev. The police had demanded that Kostenko be held in pre-trial detention for one month, reports. [Read more]