It’s the 31st day of the month and as such, civic movement Strategy 31 will be holding their right to peaceful protest rally in Moscow and other cities across Russia. Last month’s rally saw an eye-opening number of detentions, with 130 people arrested in a violent dispersal, among them prominent Kremlin foes Boris Nemtsov and Eduard Limonov. Apparently tonight’s gathering has also been the subject of a preemptive crackdown by the authorities. From Reuters:
Russian police detained 11 members of an opposition group in a weekend raid on their office and apartments ahead of an anti-government rally on Monday, activists said.
Police linked the searches and arrests to an ongoing investigation into nationalist riots in December near Red Square, law enforcement sources cited by the Kommersant daily said.
But members of the opposition Other Russia group said the arrests were clearly intended to stop them joining Monday’s planned demonstrations on Moscow’s central Triumph Square.
And the word from Eduard Limonov, who spent the first two weeks of this year in jail following the last Strategy 31 rally, via the Moscow News:
“There has just been an armed police operation at the Strategy 31 office, not far from Belorussky railway station,” Eduard Limonov, The Other Russia’s leader, told Interfax, newsru.com reported.
“The searches were carried out as part of charges against God knows who under article 212 of the criminal code (incitement to mass disorder).”
“I am beside our office right now…There’s a search under way here. They are likewise searching my home, my mother has told me,” Nikolai Avdyushenkov, The Other Russia Moscow head, told Interfax.
He added that a police van was waiting while police officers, “some of whom are wearing helmets, flak jackets and carrying guns, [broke] down the door to the organisation’s office,” he added.
For the whole report click here.