The unnecessary and excessive use of force by Russian police and unfounded charges against protesters for “participation in mass disorder” is symptomatic of Kremlin’s deep contempt for human rights and its determination to crush peaceful protest, said Amnesty International today after more than 590 were arrested during police crackdown on an opposition rally.
The Russian authorities have shown nothing but disdain to human rights and the notion of peaceful protest.
“The Russian authorities have shown nothing but disdain to human rights and the notion of peaceful protest. Thousands of Russians have repeatedly come out into the streets in recent weeks to protest against electoral manipulation and discrimination against opposition candidates only to be met by baton wielding police and the brutal use of force,” said Natalia Zviagina, Director of Amnesty International’s Representative Office in Moscow.
“The violent dispersal of peaceful protests in central Moscow last weekend with at least 10 individuals facing trumped up charges of mass disorder has led to thousands more bravely taking to the streets in defiance of this state sanctioned repression.
We call on the Russian authorities to respect the country’s human rights obligations and Constitution and ensure the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is respected and facilitated.
“We call on the Russian authorities to respect the country’s human rights obligations and Constitution and ensure the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is respected and facilitated. The unfounded ‘mass disorder’ charges against demonstrators must be dropped, and all imprisoned peaceful protesters released.”
On 3 August, more than 590 were detained during protest rally in central Moscow which the city authorities designated as “unauthorized”. It follows a police crackdown on peaceful protests only a week ago which resulted in nearly 1,400 detentions.
Ahead of the new protest rally the authorities launched probe into “mass disorder” and charged at least 10 individuals under Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code. Amnesty International observers directly witnessed the protest on 27 July and concluded that it was peaceful until the police charged against the crowd.