Russian police arrest more than 100 people in the week after the Navalny solidarity protests
Russian police have detained 115 people during the week after the protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny on April 21, reports the independent monitoring group OVD-Info.
The majority of these detentions (58) were recorded in Moscow. In Nizhny Novgorod, 11 people were detained, while Perm and Khabarovsk both saw 10 arrests.
Generally, the detainees are being charged with participating in an unauthorized rall — on the basis of footage from CCTV cameras — or with organizing an unsanctioned event, due to posts on social networks.
The most popular tactic of the police, especially in Moscow, is to wait for the “offenders” and detain them when they get to their homes or, the opposite, when they’re leaving. RGGU [Russian State University for the Humanities] professor Alexander Agadzhanyan was detained in this manner, when he was returning from work. He spent the night at the police station, despite the fact that he has asthma and doctors came to see him. The next day he was fined.
The rally in Moscow on April 21 took place without mass arrests: OVD-Info reported only 48 detentions in the Russian capital. The countrywide arrest count was more than 2,000 people. Most of the detentions, more than 800, were in St. Petersburg.
On April 27, police officers visited the home of Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova, as well as the homes of reporters from Dozhd, Ekho Moskvy, Komsomolskaya Pravda, and RTVI who had covered the Navalny solidarity protests. All of these reporters attended rallies as members of the press; they had editorial assignments, carried press cards, and wore “Press” vests. The police have demanded that the journalists provide evidence that they were at the rallies on instructions from their respective newsrooms.