5 Aug 2019 22:16

Russia's HRC asks heads of several agencies to look into law enforcement's actions at Aug 3 opposition rally in Moscow

MOSCOW. Aug 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Presidential Human Rights Council (HRC) will prepare petitions to the heads of the Russian Interior Ministry, the Russian National Guard, the Russian Investigative Committee and the Russian Prosecutor General's Office in connection with the actions of law enforcement officers at the August 3 opposition rally in Moscow, HRC member Yekaterina Vinokurova said.

"Various aspects of this event were discussed at the HRC meeting. We came to the following conclusion that we will send letters to Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, head of the Russian National Guard Viktor Zolotov, head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, and Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika," Vinokurova told Interfax on Monday.

"The Council will ask the Russian National Guard and the Interior Ministry to carry out an inquiry into the excessive use of force, and we will also ask in a petition to the Interior Ministry to verify the substantiality of drawing up protocols and the work of police departments as regards the problems with lawyers' access, handouts of food and water," she said.

The petitions will also address "the detentions of journalists, who were detained even after they produced their editorial IDs and their editorial assignments," Vinokurova said.

The HRC will ask the Russian Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office "to look into the actions of law enforcement officers in light of obstructing the activity of lawyers, journalists, power abuses involving the unfounded use of force," she said.

"We have separately discussed the launch of an inquiry into inciting mass unrest and want to ask the prosecutor's office to verify the substantiality of opening the case," Vinokurova said.

HRC head Mikhail Fedotov, HRC members Ilya Shablinsky, Igor Kalyapin, Alexander Verkhovsky, Igor Borisov and others attended the meeting, she said.

"Although, people with various points of view attended the meeting, elements of crime in this mass unrest case does not correspond to what has really taken place," Vinokurova said.

A total of 1,001 people were detained at the rally, she said.

On August 3, police officers and Russian Guard servicemen dispersed the mass unsanctioned event in central Moscow in support of unregistered candidates to the Moscow City Duma.

A gathering and a march along the Boulevard Ring began at 2 p.m. Detentions of the most active protesters began about half an hour later. The police reported that 600 people had been detained by 6 p.m.