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Environmentalist Suren Gazaryan and lawyer Viktor Dutlov get ten days of imprisonment on a framed-up case

Press Release

March 14, 2012

Tuapse. On March 14 Suren Gazaryan, environmentalist and YABLOKO member, and Viktor Dutlov, lawyer, YABLOKO member and activist of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch, detained by the country cottage of Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Tkachyov a day earlier, got ten days of administrative arrest for non-obeying to the lawful orders of police. The judge refused to call the witnesses of the defence, as well as to consider audio and video recordings proving innocence of Gazaryan and Dutlov.

On March 13 Gazaryan and his attorney Dutlov approached the Governors cottage so that to inspect the damages (graffiti) they had allegedly made to the fence. Such inspection was required for their defence in court (as they were accused in damaging the fence) and was sanctioned by the investigator. When activists approached the fence, the guards came out and put handcuffs on the activists. Gazaryan was beaten by one of the guards.

On November 13, 2011, environmentalists conducted public inspection of the forest bordering on the plot of land given to Governor Tkachyov on lease. The inspection showed that the relict pines were cut for illegal building of the Governors cottage, as well as fenced a part of a public beach with a concrete wall. Also the plot of land still belongs to the state forestry fund and any construction works there, fencing and cutting of trees are illegal.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin said that arrest of Gazaryan and Duglov was manifestation of arbitrary rule adding that this may indicate beginning of reprisals against civil activists. The verdict against Gazaryan and Duglov is quite symbolic in the context of re-appointment of [Governor] Tkachyov. YABLOKO regards this as toughening of the police regime during another presidential term of Vladimir Putin.

The activists of the North Caucasus Environmental Watch say that the case has been completely framed up and do not doubt that the judges verdict was biased.

Judge Bondaryev rejected ten motions made by Gazaryan: on hearing of the witnesses and examining the video of robbery Gazaryan had to encounter. The prosecution based on a framed up police protocol stating that Gazaryan and Dutlov were running away from the police when asked to produce their IDs. The judge neglected the audio record made by Dutlov during the detention. However, the recording showed that there had been no problems with the police.

See also:

Protection of Environment

Charges brought against Eugeny Vitishko, YABLOKO candidate to the State Duma

YABLOKO campaign unfairly targeted

Yabloko demands investigation of unlawful detention of its activists

Press conference Black Sea Palaces and Their Hosts

Are Prisoners of Conscience Only in Moscow?


Press Release

March 14, 2012

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