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(en) Russia, Press statement issued by: LINK (the Libertarian Information and News Collective)

Date Sat, 15 Jul 2006 17:37:10 +0300


BUSH ARRIVES IN RUSSIA AS SOVIET STYLE REPRESSION OF ANTI-G8 PROTESTERS CONTINUE
200 people, Russians and internationals, have been imprisoned in the
last few days as the G8 Summit prepares to begin tomorrow. Despite a
total government ban on any demonstrations, protests are held in Moscow,
Kiev, St. Petersburg, and across the world. Bush is not expected to
condemn Putin publicly for his actions against popular protest.
> The Network against G8), and Berlin anti-G8 Media Group PRESS CONTACT in Russia,
(Russian and English): +8 916 992 25 50 Email: spb8media@riseup.net Berlin based
anti-G8 media group: g8-int@riseup.net, http://presse.gipfelsoli.org
As President Putin continues to speak about the improvements of
democracy in Russia to the international press, the repression against
activists goes on. It’s less than a day until the beginning of the
summit and already over 200 activists of all stripes and colors and been
detained, arrested, intimidated and even beaten. The number of
violations against civil and human rights reaches more than hundred.

A few Russian citizens, two Germans and one Swiss person have been
convicted on the ground of ridiculous accusations with 10 to 15 days of
imprisonment. Spurious charges have ranged from spitting or urinating on
the ground, to charges of cursing the police, and in some cases there
have been accusations that the police have planted drugs and even
explosives on activists. Many have been spied on and stalked by police
and FSB (ex-KGB) quite openly.

The Legal Team of the NOG8 group, despite the fact that their office was
raided recently by police, reports many incidents. Until today they
received hundreds of complaints about the restriction of free movement:
- threats and warnings, not to travel to St. Petersburg (26)
- forceful return of tickets (8)
- return tickets have been bought under pressure (4)
- people have been taken out of trains (86).

In 19 cases the right to gather in public space was restricted, 29
people have been detained by police on train stations in St. Petersburg
on arrival, 8 were arrested without any reasons. The police entered 9
apartments without official juridical order. Nine passports were
confiscated.

Hundreds of activists have the papers been checked on the streets of St.
Petersburg. One example is the odyssey of the activist Alexander
Lashmankin from Samara. His house has been searched and all his attempts
to travel to St. Petersburg were met with detainment and arrest on his
way by train, suburban train and while hitchhiking. Finally he was told
by the police and the FSB that he won’t be able to reach St. Petersburg
until the end of the summit. Now he is going home to Samara. Tomorrow he
will have a press conference at 11:00 in Samara.

Another example is the threatening of relatives of activists, with one
case being mother of the journalist Vlad Tupikin from Moscow. She was
met by two policemen on the streets who then entered her apartment. They
put pressure on the old woman to tell them about her son’s plans in St.
Petersburg. After she refused to cooperate with them, she was warned
about the consequences of her behaviour and future visits.

The third case is Vasilii Starostin, his son Jegor and another person
from the Siberian Workers Union in Omsk, Elena Girde, who have been
detained in Ekaterinburg, while their were traveling to St. Petersburg.
After a long and heavy interrogation, where they have been threatened
with a court case for being involved in “extremist” activities, the
police and FSB adviced them to travel back to Omsk.

Jay Kayne of the Berlin anti-G8 Media Group said, “Despite the fact that
all protest has been banned in Russia through the end of the G8,
numerous protests have been carried out. On 12 July a colorful Canival
against Capitalism occurred in Moscow
(photos: http://infostore.org/info/1308559?refer=1304904&rs=2). Today in
Kiev, Ukraine, a demonstration with the motto, “The world is not a
commodity“ was carried out (photo:
http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/15148/index.php), and an
“illegal” protest is now planned for the final day of the G8. On the
16th of July there will be an Anti-War Demonstrationin St.Petersburg. It
will take place at 2pm near Nievski Prospekt Metro Station. Activists
expect it to be interuppted by the police before this, because its not
legal. We think President Bush is not expected to condemn Putin publicly
for his actions against popular protest, as he has supported similar
actions in the USA.”

International solidarity demonstrations have already taken place in
multiple cities, including London, Sydney, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin,
Washington DC, Manila, and many others.





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