see also: DetentionUpdates
see also: SolidarityActions
LINK ("Libertarian Information & News Kollective") - part of Network Against G8 (NAG8), Russia
Press-release No1, 27 June 2006.
CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS FACE PRESSURE FROM THE AUTHORITIES IN THE RUN-UP TO G8 SUMMIT IN ST.PETERSBURG
Contact LINK in Russia: email@example.com 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: www.nbpiter.ru).
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: http://www.lenakm-avangard.narod.ru/Pressa/antiekx.htm ).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: http://spb8.net