Nothing special about it Take a look inside the ‘special’ detention center where arrested pro-Navalny protesters are being held
In the aftermath of the mass protests across Russia in recent weeks in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny, a number of protesters in Moscow are serving time in administrative custody. Currently, many of the detainees are being held at a special detention center located in Sakharovo — a village in an area just outside of the Russian capital known as New Moscow. According to multiple reports, police vans carrying detainees have been forced to wait in lines outside of the detention center for hours on end — and the detainees weren’t given food or water while waiting to be processed (they were only allowed out of the van when needed after cajoling the officers transporting them).
Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov found himself in a similar situation after he was sentenced to 25 days administrative arrest on February 3 for retweeting a post that was later deemed to incite participation in a pro-Navalny rally. The police van he was in remained parked outside the special detention center in Sakharovo for about three hours. Around 5:00 a.m. local time on February 4, he and 27 other detainees were placed temporarily in a holding cell meant to accommodate eight people — it had just four bunk beds, all without mattresses. Smirnov and the other detainees were moved to other cells around noon. Here’s what the conditions are like at the detention center in Sakharovo.
Update. The secretary of Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission (ONK), Alexey Melnikov, told TASS that the problems at the special detention center in Sakharovo are due to the “lengthy procedure for registering detainees.”
Be warned. If you speak Russian, these videos contain language you may find offensive.
Update. Moscow police officials gave the following comment on the photographs from inside the special detention center in Sakharovo: “The photographs posted on some medial and Internet sites don’t objectively reflect the situation, since they were taken by citizens who were taken to the temporary detention center after court hearings and were awaiting registration.”