Persons Arrested for Protest Picket in Moscow Go on Hunger-strike
On 7 May Basmanny court of Moscow continued the consideration of the cases of the participants of the protest action, held in front of Belarusian Embassy in Russia. Its activists demanded from Belarusian authorities to release Belarusian and Ukrainian citizens who were put in jail for participation in Chernobyl Way action in Minsk.
The activist of Yabloko youth movement Ivan Bolshakov, who was among the persons arrested in Minsk during Chernobyl Way, was sentenced to four days of jail for the picket in front of Belarusian Embassy. In the evening of 7 May the same sentences to another Yabloko member, Egor Shalayev and the member of “Going without Putin” movement Vadim Rezvy. The non-party participant of the action Piotr Karnaukhov was fined 1 000 Russian rubles.
The leader of the Yabloko movement Ilya Yashin thusly commented on the court lynching:
-- It demonstrates the direction in which the state is moving. Our state decided that the most effective methods of struggle with the opposition are the ones that Lukashenka uses. Now the Russian authorities try to use them in practice. Before that there haven’t been any cases when people were imprisoned for unauthorized picketing.
Before that the court punished another three participants of the action: Dmitry Kokarev, member of “Oborona” movement, Yabloko members Semyon Burd and Vitaliy Reznik were sentenced to six days of jail. The picket participant Irina Vorobyova was fined 500 Russian rubles. The majority of the prisoners also took part in Chernobyl Way in Minsk. The prisoners went on hunger-strike of protest against the politically motivated punishment.
At the trial the defense lawyer moved for attachment of the video tape confirming that the action participants didn’t resist to the police (the court charged them with that). He also twice solicited for impeachment to the judge, but the petitions were rejected by the court. This trial is also watched by a representative of ombudsman on human rights in Russia.