In new case against July 27 ‘riot organizers,’ Moscow authorities start raiding activists' homes
On July 31, law enforcement officers raided the homes of two participants in Moscow’s July 27 unauthorized protest, as part of a growing investigation into the organization of supposed rioting. According to the website OVD-Info, investigators came early in the morning to the apartments of Vasily Kuzmin (the leader of the “Left Bloc” movement) and activist Sergey Fomin.
Human rights activists say the search of Kuzmin’s home ended around five in the morning, after which he was summoned to the Investigative Committee for questioning, and later released. Officials also seized his computer. He has been named as a witness in the case. At the time of this writing, friends were unable to contact Fomin, who was taken to an unknown location after the search of his home.
The raids were carried out by agents from the Federal Security Service’s Constitutional Protection and Anti-Terrorism Department and police officers from Moscow’s Anti-Extremism unit, a source in law enforcement told the news agency TASS.
The authorities launched their investigation into last Saturday’s “mass unrest” on July 30. Demonstrators rallied on July 27 without a permit from the city to protest election officials’ refusal to register dozens of independent candidates for September’s City Duma race.
Police arrested the organizers of the July 27 protest before the demonstration even began. The authorities used high levels of force to disperse the several thousand protesters who turned out, arresting another 1,373 people. The city is also pressing felony charges against three activists who allegedly attacked police officers.