Sergei Mitrokhin demands explanations of the arrests of civil activists defending their park from expropriation by the Russian Orthodox Church
On 14 November at 6 a.m., police arrested ten families (including children) of the activists defending Torfyanka Park in North-East Moscow form expropriation by the Russian Orthodox Church. Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, has forwarded inquiries to Alexander Drymanov, head of the Moscow department of the Investigative Committee of the RF, Oleg Baranov, head of the Moscow interior, and Public Prosecutor Vladimir Churikov, asking them to explain where the detained were taken and the reason of the arrests.
Marina Verigina, Natalia Fyodorova, Evgeny Lebedev, Vladimir Brechaninov were arrested, as well as ten more people. The names of these ten people are still unknown. According to some information, the police arrested and took away along with Marina Verigina and her husband, her nephew, aged 16, who had had no relation to Torfyanka Park. The police also confiscated all their computers.
Men in the form of law enforcement officers began knocking on the door of Marina Verigina’s apartment at 6 a.m., she did not open the door, but the police broke the door, arrested the whole family and took them away. Verigina managed to make a phone call and inform YABLOKO representative Tatyana Ovcharenko of this.
At the moment, Natalia Fyodorova and Evgeny Lebedev are in the Interdistrict Investigatory Department in Mariyna Roscha. Sergei Mitrokhin is going there. The arrested are charged with Article 148 of the Criminal Code (“Insulting the feelings of religious believers”). This article was introduced into the Criminal Code in response to the Pussy Riot girls’ band dance in a church
“I have no doubt that the actions of the police are directly linked with the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Russia, who has recently said that despite the protest of the residents, the construction site for a temple in Torfyanka Park would be preserved, although the authorities have allocated a different site for the construction of the church,” Sergei Mitrokhin said.
Here comes a list of the detained based on different sources: