Activists and Organizers Harassed In St. Petersburg

The St. Petersburg militsiya is actively seizing campaign materials of the Other Russia coalition. Olga Kurnosova, the head of the St. Petersburg branch of the United Civil Front (UCF), told the Sobkor®ru news agency that three UCF activists were arrested on November 11th. They were handing out copies of the “Dissenters’ March” newspaper, and are now being held without explanation at a local police station. According to Kurnosova, the authorities have promised to release them later in the day. Previously, officers had seized the same newspapers from activists at the Vitebsk rail station.

The same day at Pushkinskaya metro station, a pensioner was apprehended for distributing the same newspaper. She was taken to the militsiya station, and all the literature she had was confiscated. Officers treated her without ceremony, asking questions including “From which welfare institution did you come from?” As result, the woman’s blood pressure went up, an ambulance was called. The militsiya only released the woman when the medical personnel recommended that she be hospitalized.

Another attempt to confiscate the newspaper took place at a demonstration against uncontrolled urban development in Aviator’s park. According to Kurnosova, participants of the meeting interfered with the authorities attempts.

In another instance, a package sent from Moscow to St. Petersburg was seized by agents of the federal anti-organized crime agency (UBOP). The shipment contained newspapers, leaflets, and stickers prepared for the upcoming Dissenter’s March and the December State Duma elections.

As we reported previously, Moscow law enforcement similarly apprehended activists and confiscated stickers and leaflets of the Other Russia on November 1st.

In the past week, the Other Russia has intensified its campaign to promote the “Dissenters’ March,” which will take place in Moscow on November 24th, and in St. Petersburg on November 25th.