First arrest during Khabarovsk protests targets ‘Furgalmobile’ driver
Khabarovsk’s Central District Court has sentenced local protester Rostislav Buryak to eight days in prison, lawyer Vitaly Tykhta from the rights group “Human Rights Postcards” (“Pravozashchity Otkrytki”) told MBK Media. Buryak, an active participant in the ongoing protests in Khabarovsk, is best known as the owner of the so-called “Furgalmobile,” a food truck decorated with slogans in support of the region’s ousted governor, Sergey Furgal.
According to OVD-Info, police officers arrested Buryak earlier in the day on July 28 and issued him an administrative protocol for obstructing traffic at a rally (Section 6.1, Article 20.2 of Russia’s Administrative Code). Human rights activists maintain that the protocol includes a time and date when Buryak was not at a protest rally.
This is the first arrest to take place during the demonstrations in Khabarovsk, which are now continuing for the third week in a row, the independent television station Dozhd explains.
The protests in Khabarovsk began on July 11, after then-governor Sergey Furgal was arrested and taken to Moscow, where he was arraigned on charges of organizing contract killings in the early 2000s. Protesters in Khabarovsk have held sustained demonstrations ever since, demanding that Furgal undergo an open trial in Khabarovsk. The largest protests typically take place on Saturdays, drawing tens of thousands of demonstrators.
On July 20, President Vladimir Putin officially dismissed Furgal from his post due to “loss of confidence” and appointed State Duma Deputy and Liberal Democratic Party member Mikhail Degtyarev as his acting replacement. Local protesters in Khabarovsk then began demanding that the acting governor step down, as well as the president.