Thursday, June 17, 2010

Window on Eurasia: Moscow Militia Falsified Reports on Protesters, Prosecutor Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, June 17 –Moscow procurator Yury Semin says that militia reports about two groups of protesters detained in the Russian capital earlier this year were falsified and that he is currently seeking to overcome the opposition of senior officials to bringing charges against those responsible for those illegal actions.
Semin’s unusual acknowledgement came in a letter to Lev Ponomaryev, the executive director of the For Human Rights Movement, and was reported today on the portal, subsequently being picked up by other human and civil rights outlets in the Russian capital (
In her report,’s Anastasiya Petrova notes that during the January meeting in memory of Stanislaw Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova, a lawyer and a journalist who were killed for their investigative work detained, 28 participants were detained – including Ponomarev.
The March meeting, which took place on Pushkin Square, with slogans like “Moscow without Luzhkov!” and “The Moscow Region without Gromov!” had been slated to take places part of the Day of Anger, but Moscow officials first refused to give permission and then detained more than 70 of those who showed up.
With the cooperation of prosecutors like Semin, it may be possible for some Russians to hold some officials to account, but a Moscow court has just ruled that President Dmitry Medvedev and the staff of his Administration are beyond the reach of suits brought by citizens who believe that one or another of these officials has violated Russian law.
As Andrey Polunin reported in “Svobodnaya pressa” today, a district court in Moscow has held that any such suit “is interference in the affairs of the president and thus violates the principle of the division of powers” as set up in the Russian constitution, an application of that term to a completely new realm (

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