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LINK‭ ("‬Libertarian Information‭ & ‬News Kollective‭") -‭ ‬part of Network Against G8‭ (‬NAG8‭)‬,‭ ‬Russia

Press-release‭ No1, 27‭ ‬June‭ ‬2006.


Contact LINK in Russia:‭ ‬‭ LINK is NOT an official media-body of NAG8.‭ ‬ Please read the description at the end of the text.

As reported by activists of Network Against G8‭ (‬G8‭)‬,‭ ‬at the beginning of June St.‭ ‬Petersburg’s police officers visited homes of at least ten Petersburg’s anarchists and antifascists‭ (‬participants of Anti-War Committee,‭ ‬Piter’s League of Anarchists,‭ ‬Antifascist Association and other organisations‭) – ‬those who were briefly detained after the demonstration on the‭ ‬1st of May this year.

Activists who were at home during those‭ “‬visits‭” ‬had their fingerprints taken and written statements about their plans for the time of the G8‭ ‬summit in July this year.‭ ‬Apart from that,‭ ‬police harassed neighbours and relatives of those whom they did not find at home.‭ ‬Those among the activists who’ve got better understanding of the legal situation simply did not let police officers in,‭ ‬as the latter could legally do nothing about it.

Similar problems were previously experienced by the antifascists arrested in St.‭ ‬Petersburg on‭ ‬4‭ ‬November‭ ‬2005.‭ ‬At the time police officers from the‭ ‬18th‭ (“‬counter-extremist‭”) ‬department of the Combat with Organised Crime Squad threatened them with repressions if they’ll take part in protests against G8‭ ‬summit scheduled for July‭ ‬2006.‭ ‬Those arrested on‭ ‬4‭ ‬November last year were also questioned about the activity of several Western European nationals currently living in St.‭ ‬Petersburg and Moscow,‭ ‬as well as about their relationships with Moscow journalist and anarchist Vlad Tupikin.‭

Later,‭ ‬this spring,‭ ‬those arrested and released last November,‭ ‬were again‭ “‬visited‭” ‬by police officers from criminal investigation units and officers of Federal Security Service‭ (‬FSB‭) ‬who came to their homes,‭ ‬workplaces or their parents‭’ ‬workplaces threatening activists.‭ ‬If activists could not be found‭ – ‬their relatives and colleagues were harassed.

Control and harassment tools are applied not only against activists related to NAG8,‭ ‬anarchist,‭ ‬antifascist or antiwar organisations.

Four members of the new-right National-Bolshevik Party‭ (‬this party prefers to position itself as having‭ “‬anti-globalist‭” ‬stance,‭ ‬trying to gain popularity against the background of the worldwide movement against capitalist globalisation‭) ‬have been‭ “‬visited‭” ‬by police officers in June.‭ ‬During the conversation they were asked to sign some‭ “‬papers‭” ‬concerning G8‭ ‬summit‭ (‬information by NBP web-site:‭ ‬‭)‬.

At the beginning of June somebody from the police district criminal investigation department visited an activist of an organisation‭ “‬Petr Alexeyev Resistance Movement‭”‬,‭ ‬a journalist Dmitry Zhvaniya.‭ ‬He had not been at home,‭ ‬but his family was afraid.

On‭ ‬1‭ ‬June police also appeared at the doors of Maxim Malyshev,‭ ‬the leader of AKM’s‭ (‬Avant-garde of Red Youth‭) ‬Leningrad section.‭ ‬Mr.‭ ‬Malyshev had not been at home,‭ ‬but his mother has been questioned,‭ ‬while police officers claimed that they conduct a pre-planned operation‭ “‬Anti-Extremism‭”‬.‭ ‬M.‭ ‬Malyshev upon coming back home has been persuaded by his mother to visit the local police station‭ (№‬21‭)‬.‭ ‬There he was again questioned about AKM’s activity.‭ ‬Police officers took his fingerprints,‭ ‬photo and written statement concerning his plans‭ (‬information by St.‭ ‬Petersburg AKM’s web-site,‭ ‬in Russian:‭ ‬‭ )‬.

On the same day police officers have‭ “‬visited‭” ‬several more activists from different groups and organisations.‭ “‬Visits‭” ‬and phone calls demanding that such activists come to the local police stations went on for days at the beginning of June.‭ ‬Among other cases,‭ ‬it has been reported about calls summoning activists of‭ “‬Alternativy‭” ‬movement‭ (‬dealing with social issues,‭ ‬human rights and antifascist activism‭) – ‬Igor Gotlib‭ (‬39‭ ‬years old‭) ‬and Iosif Abramson,‭ ‬PhD‭ (‬78‭ ‬years old‭)‬.

We have all the reasons to think that in these actions‭ (‬which sometimes took a form of harassment‭) ‬enforcement agencies are implementing an order which came from‭ “‬above‭”‬.

According to‭ “‬Novaya Gazeta‭” ‬newspaper,‭ ‬a major of police forces,‭ ‬while questioning Evgeniy Kozlov‭ (‬a member of a Russian Social Forum’s organising committee‭) ‬claimed that this questioning and police officer’s actions are based upon a non-public order from the City Police department.‭ ‬A police officer also said that the paper is not designed for public disclosure.

According to a regional news web-site‭ “‬Fontanka.Ru‭”‬,‭ ‬such police actions are based upon an order signed by the deputy head of a city criminal investigations‭’ ‬department Mr.‭ ‬Umnov,‭ ‬which has been sent to the district police stations on‭ ‬15‭ ‬March.‭ ‬According to this order,‭ ‬every Thursday local police squads have to report to their superiors a number and a content of the‭ “‬conversations‭” ‬with activists.‭ ‬The order clearly indicates that all these steps are taken because of the preparations to G8‭ ‬summit.

All these facts clearly show that the authorities have chosen tactics of harassment,‭ ‬pressure and repressions to be applied upon activists of any civil organisations and movements‭; ‬upon those who dare to realise their right to protest during St.‭ ‬Petersburg G8‭ ‬summit-2006.

We ask media to keep an eye on the authorities‭’ ‬actions,‭ ‬and we call for solidarity all the civil rights activists all over the world to put pressure upon the Russian authorities,‭ ‬via Internet as well as physically‭ – ‬in front of Russian embassies,‭ ‬consulates and trade offices.‭ ‬Your compassion,‭ ‬solidarity and actions might help to secure at least some safety for those activists who will take part in protests‭ – ‬and those who already do so.

LINK‭ ("‬Libertarian Information‭ & ‬News Kollective‭")‬,‭ ‬which is a part of Network Against G8‭ (‬NAG8‭)‬,‭ ‬can be contacted by sending an e-mail to:‭ ‬

While LINK is a part of NAG8,‭ ‬neither LINK,‭ ‬not any other group or individual is authorised to speak on behalf of the whole NAG8.‭ ‬We can only distribute our own press-releases,‭ ‬information of other groups‭ – ‬parts of the Network,‭ ‬and to assist individual NAG8‭ ‬activists in expressing their views to the media.

Network Against the G8‭ (‬NAG8‭) ‬is comprised of anarchist,‭ ‬radical environmentalist,‭ ‬non-authoritarian left activists from Russia and Eastern Europe.‭ ‬NAG8‭ ‬website:‭ ‬

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