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Oct 6, 2021
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10 days on a bunk: the Left was slammed with a “Dada” article

In the photo: Sergei Udaltsov during a court hearing

In the photo: Sergei Udaltsov during a court hearing (Photo: Press Service of the Simonovsky Court / TASS)

Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov sent an open letter about arrests and fines against representatives of the Communist Party and leftist activists to the Russian president Vladimir Putin… The document, published on the party website, notes that “instead of establishing a constructive dialogue with the leading parliamentary party, administrative pressure on the Communist Party is increasing, and the facts of police persecution of its activists and supporters are increasing.”

As you know, during meetings of deputies of various levels with voters, a lawyer of the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation was arrested Mukhamed Bidzhiev, economist and assistant to the State Duma deputy Vladislav Zhukovsky, political scientist and editor-in-chief of the Rabkor portal Boris Kagarlitsky, leaders of the “Left Front” Sergey Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhaev – all of them were convicted by the court under Part 8 of Art. 20.2 Administrative Code for ten days of arrest.

On October 4, the Tverskoy Court of Moscow sentenced the deputy of the Moscow City Duma from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Yekaterina Engalycheva to a fine of 250 thousand rubles, previously head of the department of protest activities of the Moscow City Committee of the Communist Party Pavel Ivanov was fined 30 thousand rubles. Moreover, Engalycheva faces punishment under article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – for allegedly repeatedly violating the law on rallies. The trial is scheduled for October 11.

In the letter, Zyuganov noted that “all references by law enforcement officers to by-laws allegedly violated by the detainees are groundless, since no law can be higher than constitutional norms” and added that “today the rights and freedoms of citizens guaranteed to them by the Russian Constitution are grossly violated.”

– All these actions on the part of the authorities and law enforcement agencies can be described as targeted repression, – I am convinced lawyer and publicist Dmitry Agranovsky… – Some of the actions of the security officials can hardly be called legally justified, since among those whom they detained there are also candidates for the State Duma – in such situations, the sanctions of the Prosecutor General are necessary, which were not presented.

In essence, such actions are not justified – for example, Sergei Udaltsov was charged with organizing a public event, although he was detained during a public meeting with a deputy. It is difficult to understand how Sergei can be an organizer without having a parliamentary status and without any powers.

“SP”: – How the courts bypassed these moments?

– Referred to coronavirus restrictions. A very convenient formulation for the authorities.

“SP”: – Can these court verdicts be considered politically motivated?

– Of course. Moreover, I would describe them as repression. Excessive use of violence by the authorities against their political opponents. Of course, such gestures not only violate political freedoms, but also harm stability in the state. Because instead of building a dialogue with the opposition in such a difficult period, we are seeing a rejection of it and a wave of political persecution.

Apparently, the results of the recent elections were not quite what the highest echelons of power were counting on. Hence such hard-to-explain decisions.

“SP”: – In relation to the deputy Yekaterina Engalycheva, a criminal article can be applied, with a more severe punishment. How realistic is this prospect?

– Of course, tightening cannot be ruled out. An article can be applied to her, according to which the activist was once convicted. Ildar Dadin – a person of absolutely liberal views, which in no way can diminish his civil rights.
And here you need to look at the decision of the Constitutional Court on the “Dada” article. Let’s hope that it will still be possible to avoid the development of this case in the worst-case scenario.

“SP”: – Why, in your opinion, is such a harsh approach allowed in relation to Engalycheva?

– Ekaterina is a rather bright deputy and speaks just as brightly and quite frankly, prefers to call a spade a spade. Presumably, this greatly annoys the authorities. Our authorities generally do not accept any form of criticism, and when the criticism is sincere, reasoned and convincing, the irritation is even stronger. Hence the unreasonable harsh measures.

So, today I can recommend political activists to be extremely careful, since we see not always an adequate response to protests. It is necessary to proceed from the situation that we have at the present time and once again, as they say, not to substitute.

According to Secretary of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, State Duma Deputy Sergei Obukhov, the repressive measures against the communists and left-wing activists are caused by “the nervous reaction of the authorities, which understands that the results of the elections are far from what they were announced.”

– At the top they understand that arbitrariness and manipulation have been committed, that the results, as they say, were cheated, hence the desire to silence those who disagree with the arbitrariness that happened. In addition, such actions by law enforcement agencies and the judiciary are a manifestation of the trend, the evolution of an authoritarian regime, in the face of the end of electoral democracy, to despotism. All the recent harassment of our supporters, which is about a hundred people, is part of a campaign to intimidate opponents.

“SP”: – The authorities are not sure of the strength of their position?

– She understands the fragility of her support from the population, when even pre-election payments in the amount of 10, 15 thousand rubles did not help United Russia get the percentages they were counting on. And now the party is engaged in fighting off this lawlessness. When the provisions of even Yeltsin’s constitution are not observed, not even the democratic laws adopted by the current government.

We see this by the fact that the requirement of the Prosecutor General’s sanction to detain a candidate for deputy is brazenly not observed, the rules for the treatment of detainees and many other norms established by this authority are violated. And Gennady Andreevich’s letter to the president just says that the government even violates its own laws.

“SP”: – The Communists are offered to respond to all sorts of tough political steps …

– Yes, they want to provoke us to rash actions. Some well-wishers even offer to hand over mandates. It is unclear why to do this for the sake of: our seats in the State Duma are completely legal, it is “United Russia” that needs to pass mandates – it was she who got “not her own” votes. We will use the parliamentary rostrum to expose arbitrariness, lawlessness, and defend the rights of our voters.

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