Picket in memory of S.Markelov (from the right) and A.Baburova (the second picture from the right). Moscow, Chistoprudny boulevard, January 19, 2010. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

20 January 2010, 21:10

HRC "Memorial": disorders in Moscow were provoked by authorities

The Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" states with regret that the actions yesterday - on January 19 - in Moscow in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova assassinated a year ago were accompanied by disorders. The Centre finds Moscow authorities and Moscow militia responsible for what happened.

The HRC's statement says that the stubborn unwillingness of Moscow authorities to coordinate a possible march, despite the application submitted well in advance by the organizers, was the prime cause of further events.

Human rights activists believe that non-professional and provocative actions of militiamen in the course of the memory actions (two pickets with an organized participants' passage from one to the other) resulted in clashes between militiamen and picketers.

In their opinion, the admitted violations of the legislation on street mass by the participants of the pickets cannot excuse application of force by OMON (special militia) fighters and mass detentions. Moreover, the militiamen's attempt to stop announcement of the text of the statement on the anniversary of the murder not only failed to stop the violation but provoked disorders.

The HRC "Memorial" has addressed the Ombudspersons in the Russian Federation and in Moscow with a persistent request to initiate investigation of all the circumstances of these events.

At the same time, the detention of some participants of the antifascist rallies held yesterday in Moscow was commented by Militia General-Major Vladimir Kolokoltsev, head of the Moscow GUVD (Chief Interior Department).

"Certain picketers were throwing iced lumps of snow at militiamen and traumatized them. How could they react to such behaviour?" Mr Kolokoltsev asked with indignation.

Besides, the ITAR-TASS adds that the General has noted that the city government had sanctioned the pickets, while the organizers tried to hold marches. As a result, Vladimir Kolokoltsev has reminded, 33 persons were detained and brought to administrative liability.

Among the detainees - four supporters of the "Antifa" movement. As reported by law enforcement bodies of the Russian capital, they will be registered by the militia as activists of informal movements inclined to provocative violations of public order, the "Gazeta.Ru" writes.

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