Yevgeny Bunimovich: «Do not launch a witch-hunt”
Yevgeny Bunimovich, Ombudsman for Children in Moscow and member of YABLOKO’s Federal Political Committee, believes that police, teachers and parents should not intimidate teenagers who have exercised their right to express their opinion, the Interfax news agency reported.
“The most important thing is that there should not begin a witch-hunt, so that the teenagers are not intimidated or bullied. It should not have any consequences on school education. By the way, the independent procedure of the Unified State Examination can be a guarantee that no events would interfere with further education of a child,” he told Interfax on Thursday.
Bunimovich also recalled that there were many minors among the protestors who came to Tverskaya Street in the centre of Moscow last Sunday. “Some came for fun, some for the company, other just walked by, and in general, the forbidden fruit is sweet for teenagers. In addition, teenagers tend to burn with a sense of justice,” he said.
According to Bunimovich, the detained teenagers were released from police vans or from police stations after protocols [of administrative offense] were drawn up on Sunday.
“At present, commissions for minors, teachers, parents and, in some cases, investigators, are involved in these cases with teenagers,” the ombudsman said.
He also reiterated that, in accordance with Articles 13, 14, 15 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to express their opinion freely, and the state must respect the child’s right to the freedom of thought, and children have the right to meet and unite in groups, “if this does not violate the security of the state and public order”.
“I think that adults should learn to conduct a civilized political dialogue among themselves, and I hope this will not involve our children in solving the adult problems. Let us solve the adult political problems without Gavroches on the barricades, as we have managed so far,” the Interfax agency quoted Bunimovich.
On 26 March, protest actions against corruption were held in Moscow and the regions. In the Russian capital, the number of detained participants, and those who accidentally fall into the hands of the police turned out to be a record high: over 1,000 people. Chairman of the Federal Political Committee of YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky made an appeal to immediately release the detainees. YABLOKO’s public reception office has been providing legal assistance to those arrested since the 26 March events and their relatives.