Coverage of the brutally violent attack against Lev Ponomarev late last night is beginning to make its way into the English press. Echo Moskvy reports that the attack took place after a meeting with PACE representative Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. She is now found in the capital and intends to present a report on political repressions in Russia based on the results of her journey.
The most recent news I heard personally from Karinna Moskalenko, a close friend of Lev, his wife has already removed him from the hospital where he was received to continue medical care from home for purposes of security. On Friday, Ponomarev participated in an event supporting Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose trial started yesterday. Upon learning about the attack, Khodorkovsky issued the following statement: “I am deeply sorry to acknowledge that the beating of a 67 year old human rights activist could be connected with his statements concerning my own defence and I wish hIm a speedy recovery.“
Below is a translation of the initial coverage from News.ru.
Human Rights Advocate Lev Ponomarev Savagely Beaten in Moscow
Human rights advocate Lev Ponomarev, leader of the movement «For human rights», has been beaten up in Moscow, reports «Echo Moskvy», citing the co-chairman of the movement, Yevgeny Ikhlov. The assault was perpetrated by three unknown persons at the doorstep to Ponomarev’s home, without explanation of the reasons. The human rights activist’s condition is listed as serious.
«Interfax» quotes the daughter of the human rights advocate, the lawyer Yelena Liptser: “Everything took plave late in the evening, when, having returned home, he was parking the car. At this moment, several people fell upon him and viciously beat him up.” In Liptser’s words, Ponomarev is being taken to the hospital.
“Other than mobile telephones, they didn’t take anything from him; awallet and other items remained with him”, said the lawyer. She addedthat the attackers “demonstratively smashed” one of the mobiletelephones, “and the second – they took”.
“This is clearly not a robbery, but we don’t know with whatconcretely the assault is associated. He has a very active position onmany questions, but the attackers did not say a single word at thatmoment, when they were beating him up”, said she.
Yevgeny Ikhlov specified that they were kicking the human rightsactivist. An ambulance and police have been called to the scene of theincident.
Most likely, underscored Yevgeny Ikhlov, the assault is associatedwith the professional activity of the leader of the human-rightsmovement. Already at the end of December, Ponomarev had discovered thatsome kind surveillance of him had been established.