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Police arrest fifth grader during class A Moscow school principal reported her student for a yellow and blue profile picture
The human rights organization OVD-Info reports that a school principal in Moscow contacted the Ministry of Internal Affairs about a fifth-grader who used a yellow and blue profile picture while messaging with her classmates. In response, police pulled the girl out of school and brought her and her mother in for questioning. The inspector for juvenile affairs has placed the family on a “preventive register,” apparently because of the school’s concerns about their “civic position.”
Moscow police arrested a 10-year-old girl after the director of the school where she studies informed the Ministry of Internal Affairs that the fifth grader was using a yellow and blue profile picture in chats with her classmates. The girl’s mother informed the human rights project OVD-Info about the incident. The human rights group has not disclosed the names of the mother or the child.
According to the girl’s mother, she was summoned to the School on Nekrasovka, the public school she attends, to discuss why her daughter was skipping “Conversations about What’s Important” – this school year’s new patriotic curriculum. At the meeting, she was asked about her daughter’s profile picture. They also told her that another parent had complained after the girl posted a survey about peace and war in the chat.
On September 29, the school principal sent an appeal to the Department of Internal Affairs. In it, she noted the girl’s progress and asked the ministry to “examine the family’s living conditions and establish a cause-and-effect relationship for such a child’s behavior, her civic position.” The principal also asked the police to “influence the educational position” of the mother.
Around 10:00am on October 5, the police came for the girl at school, says her mother. While the woman was on her way to her daughter, the police and an inspector for juvenile affairs asked the fifth-grader whether her mother worked, what she did, and how the family spent their free time. Then the police took the girl in to the station, bringing her mother there separately. “In front of the crying child, security forces roughly removed the mother from the school,” OVD-Info writes.
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In the station, police and child custody authorities questioned the mother and daughter for three hours. In part, they wanted to know why the girl had chosen a profile picture with blue and yellow in it. Employees of the Center for Combating Extremism also searched the mother’s cell phone correspondence. The police drew up a report stating that they had brought the minor in and taken her account.
After some time, the police appeared at the family’s home and, without presenting any documents, searched the correspondence and browsing history on the family’s phones and laptops, and also “rifled through the bed linens,” said the girl’s mother. The inspector for juvenile affairs recently informed the woman that her family would be placed on a “preventive register.”
Cover photo: School on Nekrasovka
Translation by Emily Laskin
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