Leader of the Stavropol Yabloko Youth arrested for two months
The court refused to take into account the facts that Kirill Bobro has a little son and that YABLOKO is ready to put up bail for him
Press release, 20.03.2017
On 20 March, Stavropol’s Leninsky District Court arrested Kirill Bobro, Chairman of the Yabloko Youth branch in Stavropol, for two months. He is accused of drug possession. Two packages of drugs were planted in Kirill’s flat by the officers of the Centre for Combating Extremism during a search in the activist’s home last Thursday. The court refused to take into account the facts that Kirill Bobro has a little son and that YABLOKO is ready to put up bail for him.
YABLOKO Deputy Chair Nikolai Rybakov arrived in Stavropol to support Kirill Bobro. He was present at the court hearing. “Kirill who realises that the case is politically motivated concedes that [the court] may pronounce a guilty verdict. He asked the judge to release him on house arrest so that he could spent at least some little time with his young son. However, neither [his request], nor YABLOKO’s motion for releasing him on house arrest on bail convinced the court,” Nikolai Rybakov noted after the court hearing.
Kirill Bobro was detained on 16 March after officers of the Centre for Combating Extremism searched his flat. They found two packages with some substances during the search, later the expertise showed that they contained heroin and marijuana. A criminal case under Part 2 Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal storage of narcotic drugs on a large scale) was filed against the activist. He is facing form three to ten years in prison. Kirill himself denies the accusation of drug storage. Neither Kirill nor his lawyer Vitaly Zubenko doubt that drugs were planted by the officers of the Centre for Combating Extremism. However, the court ignored the fact that police could not get inside Kirill’s flat for about an hour since Bobro refused to open the door until his lawyer’s arrival. He could have got rid of any banned substances if he had such.
YABLOKO is certain that Kirill Bobro is persecuted on political grounds and the criminal case is framed-up. The Federal Council of YABLOKO which was held on Saturday realised a statement demanding to release him immediately. “The attempts to crack down on public opinion and dispose of political opponents using force leads to radicalisation of the society and degradation of the political culture,” the statement runs.
On 17 March, YABLOKO activists and Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO Sergei Mitrokhin held one-person pickets in support of Kirill Bobro by the Presidential Administration in Moscow.
Chair of LI Human Rights Committee and Vice-President on LI Bureau Markus Loening also called for the immediate release of the leader of the Youth Yabloko branch in Stavropol (South Russia) Kiril Bobro.
IFLRY claims that the persecution of Kirill Bobro is unacceptable. “We fully support Yabloko Youth, their mother party Yabloko and Liberal International in demanding his immediate release and condemning these unacceptable actions!”, runs the statement of the organisation.
LYMEC calls upon the Russian authorities to end the repression on opposition members and guarantee Kirill Bobro a fair trial as guaranteed by the Russian constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights, of which Russia is a signatory.
The International Network of Liberal Women calls Russia’s authorities to free Kirill Bobro and protect all other girls and boys who want to participate peacefully in politics
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, lawyer 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.
YABLOKO also hosted an online Flash Mod calling the Internet users to post pictures in support of Kirill Bobro with a hashtag #СвободуКириллуБобро (#FreeKirillBobro).