activist defense

on the intersection of activism and legal systems

Tag: bolotnaya case

bolotnaya square protester receives amnesty

For protesting against Putin two years ago, activist Polina Strongina was charged in May with participating in mass riots. Local authorities, however, recently gave her amnesty. According to a St. Petersburg Times article,

Strongina, who became the first St Petersburg activist accused in the politically motivated Bolotnaya case over the alleged mass riots at an anti-Putin protest on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on May 6, 2012, received an amnesty certificate on Saturday, June 28. … Apart from Strongina, two Moscow activists were charged in relation to the Bolotnaya case in Moscow in late May. One of them, Oleg Melnikov, was amnestied on June 25 but the other, Dmitry Ishevsky, who was charged both with participating in mass riots and using violence against the police, has been taken into custody.

Strongina did not provide investigators with the names of any organizers or people at the protest. She first became involved in activism in 2008, after her father’s arm was broken at a Dissenters’ March. The Dissenters’ March was a campaign of mass protests in large Russian cities.

criminal proceedings initiated against another bolotnaya square protester in russia

For protesting against Putin two years ago, activist Polina Strongina was charged yesterday with participating in mass riots. She faces three to eight years in prison. According to a St. Petersburg Times article,

The rally on Bolotnaya Square was held one day before the inauguration of Vladimir Putin for his third term as Russian President and ended with hundreds of anti-government protesters arrested. Criminal proceedings were subsequently initiated against 28 people, known as the “Bolotnaya prisoners.” On Feb. 24, the court sentenced seven Bolotnaya Case [defendants], who had spent a year and a half in custody by that time, to prison terms of between two and a half and four years.

After her partner’s apartment was searched, Strongina was interrogated over the course of several hours at the offices of the counter-extremism center, without her lawyer present. She was released on the conditions that she behave in an orderly manner and not leave St. Petersburg. Authorities forced her to sign a non-disclosure agreement, preventing her from discussing specifics regarding the search or interrogation.