Russian Police Raid Opposition Party Headquarters, Arrest Opposition Leader, Abduct Journalists

AFP, November 23:

Russian police late Friday raided an office of The Other Russia coalition led by former chess champion Gary Kasparov, hours before he was to lead a march in Moscow against President Vladimir Putin.
“They had no documents, acted on the authority of some secret decree, so they could not say what it was about,” …said [coalition’s spokeswoman Lyudmila Mamina].
“It was all connected to (Saturday’s) March of Dissenters. It was an attempt to scare off its organisers,” [she] said.

Associated Press, November 24:

Riot police beat and detained opposition leader Garry Kasparov Saturday as they took dozens of protesters into custody at a rally against President Vladimir Putin.
The city gave the organizers permission to hold the rally but forbid them to march to the Central Elections Commission.
Riot police surrounded the rally…mov[ing] in after the rally had ended and about 150 of the protesters… began to march toward the Central Elections Commission. Kasparov had not joined the young protesters who had broken away from the crowd. He was detained after walking over to see what had happened to them.

BBC, November 24:

The [Central Elections] Commission has barred Other Russia candidates from the 2 December election.
[Kasparov] was later charged with organising an illegal protest and resisting arrest.

AFP, Novembr 24:

The Other Russia rally was one of around 10 political demonstrations that took place in the Russian capital on Saturday.
Around 3,600 police officers were on special duty to supervise the rallies, with more than half of them assigned to The Other Russia gathering alone, according to Echo Moskvy radio.

The New York Times, November 24:

Kasparov…was arrested Saturday and sentenced to five days in jail after trying to lead a march to the offices of the federal election authorities. …he had intended to present a letter asserting that the parliamentary election on Dec. 2 was biased toward President Vladimir V. Putin’s party.
City officials had given his loose opposition coalition, Other Russia, permission to conduct a rally on Saturday, but not a march.

Reuters, November 24:

A senior Russian rights activist said he and a television crew had been abducted and beaten by security agents… just hours before a protest against police brutality.
Orlov said the kidnappers were from the security forces or the police, whom he accused of employing scare tactics before a planned mass opposition demonstration across the country.

International Herald Tribune, November 24:

A police officer confirmed that the journalists and rights activist were taken from the Assa hotel in Nazran at about midnight and beaten by armed men.
Orlov said the men in camouflage represented themselves as members of an anti-terrorist unit and forced him and the journalists into a white minibus without license plates. They were driven to the Sunzha district, beaten and then ordered to get out of the vehicle.
A statement issued later by his organization, Memorial, said the journalists were barefoot and dressed only in their underwear.
Police appeared to want to prevent the journalists from filming an opposition rally that day in Nazran, Orlov said.


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Filed under news, Pre-Election, Protest, Russia, tyranny

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