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.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 112.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
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]
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.