As it turned out from the police report, I was detained for having shouted the slogans "Freedom!" and "Long live Article 31 of the Constitution!" So much for "freedom is better than unfreedom." [1]

Once again the authorities have stupidly broken up a peaceful protest. It was precisely because of the actions of the authorities that a huge traffic jam formed on the Garden Ring road.

But it would have been possible to permit a rally to be held on the Square, while allowing for the movement of traffic.

But no, they blocked off the centre of the Square, they did not let people in, forcing them into the road.

I should point out that at the start it seemed to me that this time the police were acting in a relatively mild manner. The officers organized a corridor for the passage of cars and did not react to the fact that those gathered there were chanting something. There was no sign of OMON special police units.

But it soon all began ... Groups of police officers began to split up the crowd, pushing the demonstrators out of the Square. Along with others standing next to me, I was pushed in to the road. The movement of traffic was again blocked. There was a terrible crush.

I couldn’t understand in what direction they were trying to push us. One of the senior police officers shouted: "Go to the metro station!" But it was impossible to do that: from the direction of the metro they were pushing against the crowd no less strongly, whether it was the police or protestors doing the pushing it was impossible to see.

More and more they began to seize people out of the crowd - those who held up placards, those who were shouting, or simply those they didn’t like the look of for some reason or other.

An acquaintance of mine, who, I know for sure, did not shout out anything and behaved absolutely calmly, was detained three times. Each time she was saved by her journalist’s press card. Incidentally, this time there was one positive innovation in the behaviour of the police: journalists who were detained had only to show their press ID card and they were immediately released.

Each time someone was detained, with renewed vigour the demonstrators began to chant: "Shame!"

I was pulled out of the crowd and sat me in a bus for detainees. In the bus next to this one, a group of young people (probably from the National Bolshevik Party) were protesting quite actively. They even tried to rock the bus from the inside. When another girl who was actively resisting was forced in, the bus door even broke. My acquaintance was in that bus and later she told how, in her opinion, those detained directly provoked the police, showering them with insults.

On our bus it was, on the whole, calm. Both the detainees and the police behaved correctly.

Our bus arrived at the Presnenskoe police station. The first hour we were kept in the bus. Right there they began to establish the identity of those detained.

But immediately after the appearance of representatives of the Moscow Public Commission for Oversight of Places of Detention, we were moved to the assembly hall inside the police station.

There we sat under portraits of Medvedev and Nurgaliev for several more hours, while they completed the documentation. The police did not meet the legal requirement of completing formalities within three hours.

It was only at about 11pm that I at last found out exactly why I had been detained on Triumphal Square.

According to the police report, I “took part in a rally in a group of 300 people without the consent of the Moscow city executive authorities and shouted the slogans: "Freedom. Long live Article 31 of the Constitution... "

In the official record of administrative detention I wrote that I did not agree either with the official record of detention itself or with the police report: the protesters were far more numerous than indicated in the documents, and the only thing that I shouted at the police and the authorities was the word "Shame!"

Oleg Orlov

[1] This principle was declared by Dmitry Medvedev, then deputy prime minister, in 2008 at a forum in Krasnoyarsk.


Quelle: http://www.rightsinrussia.info/home/hro-org-in-english-1/right-of-assembly-1/oleg-orlov-on-31-january
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