• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Stop the Prosecution of Peaceful Protesters (Russian Federation: UA 112.19)

August 19, 2019

In July and August, following the disqualification of opposition candidates from local elections in Moscow, tens of thousands of people participated in largely peaceful protests. Participants chanted slogans, held placards and briefly interrupted traffic on several streets. The protests remained peaceful until the authorities responded by attacking the crowds, arbitrarily beating and arresting people. The authorities brought unfounded charges against more than a dozen individuals, mostly youth, that carry lengthy prison sentences. All peaceful protesters must be urgently released, and charges against them must be dropped.

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Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Tekhnichesky per. 2 105005 Moscow Russian Federation Twitter: @sledcom_rf Facebook: @sledcomru Instagram: @sledcom_rf Webform: https://en.sledcom.ru/reception
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov Embassy of the Russian Federation 2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007 Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735 Email: [email protected] Twitter: @RusEmbUSA Facebook: @RusEmbUSA Instagram: @RusEmbUSA Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Chairman of the Investigative Committee, I am writing to you with regard to the prosecution and detention of Daniil Konon, Valery Kostenok, Egor Zhukov and at least 10 other individuals in connection with their participation in the largely peaceful protests on 27 July, 3 August and 10 August 2019 in Moscow. Most of them have been charged with “participation in a mass riot”, despite these events not being riots. Such measures blatantly violate the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, which is guaranteed by Russia’s Constitution as well as by Russia’s international obligations. One must not be prosecuted for taking part in a peaceful rally, regardless of whether the authorities’ permission has been provided. In light of the above, I urge you to immediately drop the unfounded charges against peaceful protesters, to release them, and to refrain from initiating further prosecutions against individuals for simply exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES