Youth YABLOKO activist detained, no connection with him
Press release, 16.03.2017
In Stavropol [south Russia] officers from the Centre for Combating Extremism (Centre E) have searched the flat of Kirill Bobro, the leader of the local branch of Youth YABLOKO. After the search was over they took him to an undisclosed location. Nobody can reach Kirill Bobro on the phone. According to Vitaly Zubenko, the lawyer of the young man, the Stavropol Department of Internal Affairs has no information on Kirill’s present location.
“A search took place in Kirill’s flat, it was over at about 13:00 (Msk). As the search was over, police officers took him to an undisclosed location. Even the Stavropol Department of Internal Affairs cannot explain to me where he is now. According to Kirill, the officers of the Centre for Combating Extremism seized a package with some green substance from a jacket which was in the hall and a package with some pink substance from behind a closet. Of course, the only possible version is that these [packages] were planted,” the lawyer said.
According to Zubenko, police could not get inside Bobro’s flat for about an hour since the activist refused to open the door until his lawyer’s arrival. “If he had some banned products in his flat, he had enough time to through them away. Moreover, we spoke about the possibility of a search more than once.” The lawyer also added that he had known Kirill Bobro for a long time and the activist could not keep or take drugs. The lawyer also said that the case was political motivated.
This is not the first time that the activists of the Stavropol Yabloko Youth and local low enforcement have a conflict. In February the court sentenced Kirill Bobro to three days in jail for organising a one-person picket by the FSB security service office in Stavropol. The activist was charged with violation of Article 20.2 of Russia’s Administrative Code (violation of the established procedure for organising or conducting a gathering, meeting, demonstration, procession or picket). The court claimed that Kirill Bobro organised the picket since he wrote a post about it on the Vk social networking service and is the leader of Yabloko Youth in Stavropol. The activists picketed the FSB office because of the threats to the organiser of the rally in memory of Boris Nemtsov Anastasia Antonets. On February 17, the FSB officers came to the flat of Anastasia Antonets’ parents under the pretext of checking their gun license. They asked the parents to warn their daughter against the possible negative consequences of the rally (“what if someone is going to drink alcohol in a public place or suddenly breaks a couple of benches” an so on). They also demanded that on February 20 Anastasia Antonets must write an application on the rejection to hold the rally and stop further political activity.
Moreover, Vitaly Zubenko said that the activists were going to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the court decision to hold five activists of Yabloko Youth (Anastasia Antonets, Kirill Bobro, Roman Fatulayev, Tatyana Glinberg and Artyem Sagaydakov) administratively liable for participating in a series of one-person pickets against decriminalisation of domestic violence.
In February YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova forwarded a request to the FSB Chief Alexander Bortnikov demanding to bring the department officers to responsibility for putting pressure on the party activists in Stavropol. YABLOKO claims that such actions are unlawful and unacceptable, they put obstacles in the way of freedom of expression of people and violate one of the basic constitutional rights of the citizens – the right to freedom of assembly, runs Emilia Slabunova’s request.
“It is certain that Kirill Bobro is persecuted for his public and political activity in the region. Using law enforcement in politics is unacceptable. The authorities continue to intimidate and persecute opposition representatives instead of beginning a dialogue with them. We will give all possible support to Kirill Bobro and pursue his safety,” YABLOKO Deputy Chair Nikolai Rybakov said.