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
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.