Well-known Russian anti-fascist, Alexey Gaskarov, arrested

On sunday, the 28th of April 2013, a well-known Russian anti-fascist,
Alexey Gaskarov, was arrested in Moscow. He is a member of the
Coordination Council of Russian opposition.

The investigation committee
of the Russian Federation has accused him of having pacticipated in
riots and violence against representative of authorities on the 6th of May 2012, when OMON
(Russian riot police) attacked a peaceful demonstration.

The 6th of May was one day prior to Putin's inauguration, and a mass
demonstration had been called by the opposition. The winter and spring of
2011-2012 saw the biggest wave of political demonstrations in Russia in
almost 20 years, as tens of thousands of people went out on the streets to
protest election fraud. The 6th of May was also the first time authorities
moved to crush these protests. According to the opposition more than 600
people were arrested, and as of now 28 people have been charged, who
have been
remanded, been put under house arrest or have been forced to emigrate.

On that day, Alexey Gaskarov was beaten up by OMON with batons and boots.
He filed a complaint against the officers who beat him up, but nobody was
charged. Now, a year after, and just a few days before the anniversary of
the 6th of May demonstration, as Alexey was about to be at the head of the
column of the left-wing and anti-fascist bloc, he has had a set of
absurd charges brought against him and has been arrested.

Alexey Gaskarov was born on the 18th of June 1985, and has been politically
active since his school years.

Gaskarov gained fame in the summer and autumn of 2010, when during the
protest campaign against the destruction of the Khimki forest, he was
arrested along with Maxim Solopov and was accused of orchestrating an
attack by 300-400 young anti-fascists, who supported the environmental
struggle, against the administration of the city of Khimki. In autumn
2010, Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov were released from prison, thanks
to a massive international campaign for the "Khimki Hostages". In the
summer of 2011, Gaskarov was cleared of all charges.

Since the beginning of the mass demonstrations against the falsification
of the elections in Russia in December of 2011, Alexey Gaskarov has
been an active participant. He was one of the speakers in the biggest of
the demonstrations, on the 24th of December 2011 in Sakharov street in
Moscow, and was in charge of the security for that meeting, who fought back
against the Neo-Nazi provocations.

He is being held in the police jail of Petrovka 38, awaiting his
appointment in court at 11am on the 29th of April 2013 at the Basmanniy
courthouse in Moscow.
Pending court decision, Gaskarov will be remanded or released.

Additional information:
gaskarov.info@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/gaskarov_info
Lawyer of Gaskarov, Svetlana Sidorkina: +7 (926) 557-90-16

Posted By

S2W
Apr 29 2013 01:54

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summergirl
May 17 2013 07:20

I don't know if I should be happy that he's behind bars right now. I mean, we should exercise our freedom of speech but I also think that what he's done is a little way overboard. However, I really think that the government should focus on arresting people who have actually harmed humankind in a much terrible way, like people who have killed innocent people or those who enjoy abusing women and children.

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Uncreative
May 17 2013 21:56

Not just spam, but liberal spam. The worst kind.

S2W
May 31 2013 12:35

International Solidarity Action Week, June 17–23, 2013

Free Alexei Gaskarov and the Prisoners of May 6!

Who is Alexei Gaskarov?

Alexei Gaskarov, a Russian social activist and economist, was arrested
in Moscow on April 27, 2013. Gaskarov first became known to the broader
public both in Russia and abroad in 2010, as one of the “Khimki
hostages,” when he was arrested the day after a grassroots protest
action in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, apparently because of his role as
a spokesman for the anti-fascist and environmental movements. After
three months in a pretrial detention facility and a triumphant acquittal
on all charges, Gaskarov did not give up his activism. On the contrary,
he became even more involved in numerous campaigns and causes. Having
gained fame as an anti-fascist, Gaskarov has over the past two years
become a visible young public figure thanks to his energy, intelligence,
passion, and commitment.

Gaskarov has invested a great deal of time and energy in seeing that his
hometown of Zhukovsky, in the Moscow Region, develops in a way that is
responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens. To this end, he has
continued the work he began during the campaigns to defend the Khimki
and Tsagovsky forests by fostering grassroots civic groups and an
independent discussion club. In March 2013, Gaskarov was elected to the
alternative People’s Council of Zhukovsky, thus receiving recognition
from other residents of the town for his efforts.

Gaskarov has constantly sought out other forums for articulating his
position. He has worked as a journalist and analyst with the Institute
for Collective Action, acted as a spokesperson for the anti-fascist
movement, joined the self-governing Autonomous Action network, and been
involved in coordinating the environmental movement. Since December
2011, he has been actively engaged in the anti-Putin protest moment,
appearing regularly in the media and at rallies and public discussions.
In October 2012, he was elected to the Coordinating Council of the
Russian opposition, where he has consistently pursued a grassroots
social movement agenda.

Center “E,” the notorious “anti-extremist” division of the Russian
police created under President Medvedev, cannot forgive Gaskarov for his
pivotal role in social movements. After Gaskarov was acquitted of all
charges in the Khimki case, the police have subjected him to constant
pressure, including several attempted provocations. This time round,
police have charged Gaskarov with involvement in “rioting” on May 6,
2012, at a permitted opposition march and rally on Bolotnaya Square in
Moscow the day before Putin’s inauguration. Apparently, the police are
hoping this high-profile case will end in a long prison sentence for
Gaskarov.

Why have Alexei Gaskarov and dozens of other innocent people been arrested?

On May 6, 2012, special riot police and other police officers used
violence against demonstrators in Moscow in a deliberate attempt to
provoke them, thus clearly violating the freedom of public assembly. An
April 22, 2013, public hearing on this incident established the police’s
culpability and numerous violations of the law they committed on May 6
on the basis of over six hundred independent eyewitness testimonies and
analysis of a large number of photos and videos.

The Russian authorities, however, continue to refuse to open an
investigation into the actions of the police. On the contrary, the
Russian Federal Investigative Committee has increasingly been used as a
tool to intimidate people involved in the grassroots protest movement.
The regime’s fabricated case against protesters and bystanders was
launched on May 27, 2012, when the first suspect, eighteen-year-old
Alexandra Dukhanina, was arrested. Since then, police have arrested
another twenty-seven people in the case, seemingly without rhyme or
reason. The arrestees include students, businesspeople, scientists,
activists, pensioners, and ordinary citizens.

Alexei Gaskarov is the latest person to be arrested in the case. On May
6, 2012, he was at the Bolotnaya Square rally, where he was injured: a
policeman threw him to the ground and then kicked him in the face.
Gaskarov was forced to seek medical attention (he was given several
stitches), after which he filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s
office. But as with other instances of police violence on May 6, 2012,
the authorities have not followed up on Gaskarov’s complaint.

Nearly a year after the so-called investigation of the May 6 “riots” was
launched, a pattern has emerged in the way police, prosecutors, and the
courts are railroading the arrestees in the Bolotnaya Square case. All
the accused are immediately placed in police custody for two months,
after which the courts prolong this pretrial detention several times.
The presiding judges make these rulings without taking the arguments of
defense lawyers into account and ignoring the obviously falsified
evidence presented by prosecutors and investigators. Several of the
detainees have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were not in
Moscow on May 6, 2012. Despite this, they were also remanded to police
custody.

There is a little doubt that the authorities will use this same set of
tactics in Alexei Gaskarov’s case unless we take decisive action to show
our solidarity with him. At least several dozen other people who were at
the rally on May 6, 2012, are likewise threatened with imminent arrest
and prosecution. On its web site, the Investigative Committee has
announced it will continue to work to “identify any and all persons
involved in the riots.” But it is in our power to stop this political
crackdown.

International Solidarity Action Week, June 17–23, 2013

International solidarity has repeatedly proven to be effective even in
the most difficult cases. Thanks to your support the “Khimki hostages”
were released in October 2010. This was a genuine victory for the
international solidarity campaign. Since that time, a number of other
Russian grassroots activists have been persecuted, leading in some cases
to countermeasures on the part of organizations and governments. For
example, Russian officials guilty of massive corruption and other
criminal acts have been banned from entering certain countries. Your
support is now especially vital for the dozens of people who have been
thrown in jail by the Investigative Committee or whom it intends to
arrest on trumped-up charges. Your vocal and visible involvement is
essential, because it shows the Russian police and authorities their
crimes will not go unnoticed.

June 18 is Alexei Gaskarov’s birthday. An illegitimate, lawless court
has ruled that he will spend the day in jail. We must act to secure his
release and that of the dozens of other innocent prisoners in this
fabricated case. The advocacy group gaskarov.infohas declared the week
of June 17–23 an international solidarity action week. Join us and
together we will oppose lawlessness and political persecution in Russia.

How can you help?

1. Use whatever means you have at your disposal to spread this call for
solidarity and information about the case of Gaskarov and the other May
6 prisoners. Demand their immediate release. Raise your voice against
political arrests and oppressive police tactics in Russia.

2. Sign the online petition that will be sent to the Investigative
Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office:
https://www.change.org/petitions/free-alexei-gaskarov-and-political-prisoners-in-russia

3. Carry out your own solidarity actions. You can hold pickets and
protest demonstrations at the Russian embassies and consulates in your
city. You can check the cultural events calendar where you live for
events involving Russia and hold protest actions at these events. You
can hold rallies, happenings, art actions, and solidarity sit-ins. You
can appeal to the authorities in your country and to international
authorities, asking them to intervene on behalf of Alexei Gaskarov and
the other prisoners of May 6.

Tell us about your solidarity actions and events by sending
descriptions, photos, and videos to this address: gaskarov.info@gmail.com.

4. Write letters to the Russian authorities in support of Alexei
Gaskarov and the other May 6 prisoners, demanding their immediate
release, the dismissal of all charges against them, and a thorough
investigation of the actions of the police against peaceful
demonstrators on May 6, 2012, in Moscow.

Send your letters to the following addresses:

- Moscow City Prosecutor’s Office
ul. Novokuznetskaya, 27
115184 Moscow
Russian Federation
Online message center
Fax: +7 (495) 951-5040

- Central Investigation Department of the Russian Federal Investigative
Committee for Moscow
ul. Arbat, 16/2, str. 1
19002 Moscow
Russian Federation
Online message center
Fax (after 16:00 CET): +7 (495) 691-6315

- Russian Federal Investigative Committee
Tekhnichesky pereulok, 2
105005 Moscow
Russian Federation
Online message center
Fax: +7 (499) 265-9077
Telephone: +7 (495) 986-7710

- Russian Federal Prosecutor General’s Office
ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 15a
GSP-3 125993 Moscow
Russian Federation
Fax: +7 (495) 692-1725

- Russian Federal Human Rights Ombudsman
ul. Myasnitskaya, 47
101000 Moscow
Russian Federation
Facebook Wall

Please send a copy of your letters to our address: gaskarov.info@gmail.com.

5. Send messages of support to Alexei Gaskarov at
gaskarov.info@gmail.com. We’ll translate them into Russian, pass them on
to Alexei, and also publish them on our website, gaskarov.info.

6. You can financially support our public campaign on behalf of Alexei
Gaskarov and the other May 6 prisoners and contribute to their legal
defense fund. Send your donations to a PayPal account dmitry.cw@gmail.com.

7. If you’re an artist, make a graphic work in solidarity with Alexei
Gaskarov and send it to gaskarov.info@gmail.com: it will be published on
our web sitegaskarov.info. The most eye-catching works will be printed
on stickers and pasted up all over Moscow (with you credited as the
contributing artist). If you’re a journalist or writer, send us articles
and blog posts you’ve written and published about Alexei Gaskarov and
the political crackdown in Russia. If you do other work that can help
inform people about Alexei Gaskarov, write to us at gaskarov.info@gmail.com.

Thank you for your solidarity! Watch for campaign news and updates (in
Russian and several other languages) on our webs site, gaskarov.info.