Police Starting to Seize Khodorkovsky Supporters in Chita

A translation from Khodorkovsky.ru. The deputy chairwoman of the public Committee for public support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Marina Savateyeva, has been detained by police. After the city authorities of Chita had prohibited the conducting of a picket in support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Marina Savateyeva came out on Thursday onto Decembrists’ Square as a solo picket. However, even this seemed too much. At the present time, Marina Savateyeva is found in the Central ROVD [precinct police station—Trans.] of the City of Chita, where she has been charged under Article 20.2.1 of the Code on Administrative Offences of the RF with “violating the established order for organizing or conducing picketing”. The case will be heard tomorrow at 10:00 local time. chita.jpgchita_2.jpg Together with Marina Savateyeva on Decembrists’ Square today was Sergey Taratukhin (formerly Father Sergey) [Editor’s note–Father Sergey, formerly the chaplain at the Krasnokamensk labor camp, was defrocked and left without a livelihood last year after publicly expressing concern for Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s plight.]. As a participant in the picket, he was also charged with an administrative offence (Art. 20.202 of the CoAO RF). A police car and bus with people in black uniforms with the inscription OMON began to keep guard on Decembrists’ Square as of 10:00 AM, report eyewitnesses. After Marina Savateyeva and Sergey Taratukhin were driven away to the police station, yet another picket took place on Decembrists’ Square. Around a dozen people were giving out postcards with a portrait of Mikhail Khodorkovsky to passers-by. Before coming out to picket, Marina Savateyeva sent her Statement to the Khodorkovsky Press-center:

Picketing for Khodorkovsky prohibited in Chita besieged by OMON! For the first time in 20 years of active socio-political activities, city authorities in Chita have refused to allow the conducting of a picket. On February 5, members of the public Committee for support of Khodorkovsky notified the administration of the city of Chita about the conducting of a picket. Its aim: to attract public attention and contribute to the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev from places of deprivation of liberty early on parole. As well as to express its attitude to the new charges. On February 7, they reported from the mayor’s office that the picket can not be conducted. However, there will only be a written reply on the morning of 8 February. In it was reported that the applicants had violated the time period for submission of notification. The Chita mayor’s office has difficulties doing arithmetic in its head. Information with respect to the notification received must be provided during the course of 24 hours. But the notification on the conducting of a picket is provided three days ahead. But we knew that everybody knows that 8 minus 5 equals 3, while 5 plus 1 equals 6. The decision of the mayor’s office will be appealed in court. But at the announced time today, 8 February 2007, from 16:00 to 18:00 on Decembrists’ Square, a solo picket will take place, notification about which is not prescribed by law. Marina Savateyeva deputy chairwoman of the public Committee for public support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky