Children's rights commissioner demands inquiry, after police officers abandon journalist's two-year-old daughter
Moscow Children’s Rights Commissioner Evgeny Bunimovich has asked the city’s state prosecutors to review the actions of the police officers who arrested journalist Ilya Azar on September 2, leaving his two-year-old daughter at home, unattended.
“There’s a fairly clear procedure on how to proceed in these circumstances: they could have waited for the mother or contacted social services. They contacted no one. I called, and neither social services nor the guardianship authorities had heard anything,” Bunimovich told the news agency Interfax. “If this information checks out, appropriate measures must be taken,” the children’s rights commissioner said.
On the evening of September 2, police officers arrested Ilya Azar in the lobby of his apartment building. Azar informed the officers that he’d stepped out for a cigarette, just after putting his young daughter to bed, and she was unattended. Azar’s spouse, journalist Ekaterina Kuznetsova, arrived home roughly 30 minutes later, and found the front door open and their daughter alone in the apartment.
Later that night, Azar was booked for repeated violations of Russia’s laws on public assemblies, following his participation in an opposition march on August 31 in Moscow. After a couple of hours, he was released. Azar’s administrative case begins at 2 p.m. on September 3 at Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court.