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Police stopped the procession to the monument to Pushkin because of the T-shirts with protest slogans

Press Release

June 6, 2012

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and 12 activists of a protest action by the walls of the Kremlin were arrested only because they refused to obey the police order to take off their T-shirts. For 40 minutes of YABLOKOs and other civil society activists were walking in Manezhnaya Square in white T-shirts with inscriptions "The law on rallies is the way to a fascist state". And only when Sergei Mitrokhin proposed to walk along Tverskaya Street to the monument to famous Russian poet Pushkin, the police asked the activists to take off the T-shirts and on hearing refuses the police began detentions.

Last night, when it became clear that the State Duma was determined to adopt the scandalous amendments and the Federation Council had to approve them, YABLOKO called on all the people to gather in the Alexander Gardens so that to refer to the means of the last resort of the legislative process - to President Putin (as the bill becomes a law after it is signed by the President).

The Alexander Gardens were closed an hour before the scheduled walking protest, the police demanded (without any explanations) that all the people walking in the Gardens by the Kremlin walls on a summer evening should leave the Gardens.

It was decided to gather at the neighbouring Manezhnaya Square where Police Lt. Col. Promised to Sergei Mitrokhin that the police would not arrest the protesters if they did not violate the current version of the law. 15 YABLOKO activists were wearing white T-shirts with the slogan of the action and the rest were walking bearing white ribbons.

About 40 minutes of the protesters were walking in the square. Someone brought a volume of Pushkin, whose birthday was celebrated on June 6. And the activists recited famous Pushkins verse To Chaadaev:

While freedom's flame within us lives,
While we by honour's voice are guided,
To Russia, comrade, let us give
Our spirits whole and undivided.
Dear friend, have faith: the wakeful skies
Presage a dawn of wonder - Russia
Shall from her age-old sleep arise,
And despotism impatient crushing,
Upon its ruins our names incise!

Then the protesters decided to walk to Pushkin monument and continue reciting verse there. However, when they reached an underground crossing to Tverskaya street, the Leutenant Colonel stopped one of the female participants in a T-shirt with the slogan, and asked her to take the short off. Sergei Mitrokhin came to her rescue and tried to laugh it off, "Are you calling for an administrative offense - offending public morality - the girl has nothing underneath her T-shirt!" But the police had no time for jokes. He did not even agree to a compromise the participants who had nothing under their T-shirts could leave them on, whereas others had to take the shirts off.

Detentions began. Girls wearing T-shirts with the slogan were taken to the patrol wagon first, then Mitrokhin and other protesters were pulled into the patrol wagon 13 people in total.

Sergei Sokolov, YABLOKOs municipal deputy, also was taken to the patrol wagon. However, according to the Russian law his detention could be made only by the prosecutors order.

Sokolov, Mitrokhin and six other activists were brought to the local police station Tverskoye, other were driven to the police station Meschanskoye.

Two hours after the detention Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO managed to publish in Twitter, Two policemen have come, one said that they did not know what to do with us.

Other participants of the walking protest led by Galina Mikhalyova, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, managed to get to Pushkin Square. About 50 people participated in the procession.

Sergei Mitrokhin and other detained activists were released at about 11 p.m. The police exceed the allowed three hours detention term without giving any reasons. Also the police did not issue any protocols of violations. They simply kept people in the police departments for over three hours without any explanations.

Sergei Sokolov shows his deputy's creditials.

More photographs at www.yabloko.ru


See also:

Activists protesting against the law on rallies arrested in Volgograd. Press Service of Volgograd YABLOKO, June 6, 2012.

Pickets against the law raising fines for rallies has taken place by the Federation Council. Press Release, June 6, 2012.

YABLOKO to continue protesting against adoption of the law raising penalties on rallies by the Federation Council and in Alexander Gardens by the Kremlin. Press Release, June 5, 2012.

Russian United Democratic Party leader Sergey Mitrokhin arrested as "a hooligan". EU Reporter. June 5, 2012

YABLOKO leader and 17 activists arrested by the State Duma. Press Release, June 5, 2012

Mitrokhin released without charges, other activists will stand before court. Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin and activists detained at the "walking protests" by the State Duma
Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin and activists detained at the "walking protests" by the State Duma
Press Release, May 22, 2012.

Youth YABLOKO to picket the State Duma protesting against raising of fines for rallies
Press Release, May 17, 2012.

Yavlinsky called on the "walking protestors" in St. Petersburg to set political goals. Interfax. May 15, 2012

Human Rights

Freedom of Assembly




June 6 , 2012

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