UA: 356/11 Index: EUR 46/045/2011 Russian Federation Date: 13 December 2011
Opposition leader held for protest attempt
Russian opposition leader Sergey Udaltsov has been in detention in Moscow since 4 December, solely for attempting to lead peaceful protests against alleged election fraud. He is in need of medical treatment and should be released without delay.
Leader of the political movement Left Front, Sergey Udaltsov, aged 34, is currently held in a detention centre in Moscow. He is being denied adequate medical treatment that he requires following several hunger strikes while in detention over the past weeks. He has problems with his kidneys and reportedly lost consciousness a few times while in detention. A doctor has told his lawyer that he believes Sergey Udaltsov needs hospital treatment.
On 4 December, the day of parliamentary elections in Russia, Sergey Udaltsov was detained outside a metro station in Moscow by plain-clothed officers and sentenced to five days administrative arrest, for allegedly refusing to obey lawful police orders. A friend with him at the time told the court that the police report named a different location as the place of detention, and the officers did not immediately identify themselves as police.
On 7 December he was transferred to a hospital. The administrative arrest warrant expired on 9 December and he tried to leave hospital to go to a demonstration, but police forced him to stay in hospital, possibly to ensure he could not attend. On 10 December he was taken by police to a court and given another sentence of 15 days administrative detention, for allegedly having absconded from detention following an arrest on 12 October 2011. On 11 December, he was returned to hospital. On the morning of 12 December, police reportedly put pressure on his doctors, forcing them to release him and had him transferred back to the detention centre.
Amnesty International considers Sergey Udaltsov a prisoner of conscience, who should not be detained at all.
Please write immediately in Russian or your own language:
Urge the authorities to release Sergey Udaltsov immediately and to give him access to necessary medical care.
Call on the authorities to stop the harassment and persecution of peaceful protesters.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 JANUARY 2012 TO:
Head of Special Police Detention Centre Nr. 1
Colonel Dmitry Sukhov
Simferopolski Boulevard 2
Fax: +7 499 317 1754
Salutation: Dear Colonel
Head of Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for Moscow
Lieutenant General Vladimir Kolokoltsev
Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for Moscow
Petrovka 38, 12706
Fax: +7 495 698 6631
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant General
And copies to:
Head of the Presidential Council on Development of Civil Society and Human Rights
Staraya Ploschad 4
Fax: +7 495 606 4855
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Sergey Udaltsov has been detained numerous times over the last two years for organizing or participating in peaceful protests. He had been detained twice in October 2011 for peacefully protesting against what he considered violations of election procedures, such as the denial of registration of opposition parties and the lack of public participation in politics in general. On 12 October he was sentenced to 10 days administrative arrest and spent the last days of this arrest term in hospital. He left the hospital on 20 October once he felt better. He was not under guard at that time and the doctors had not been instructed to send him back to the police detention centre. Eyewitness accounts and photo and video material seen by Amnesty International strongly suggest that he did not violate the law prior to being detained on 12 October.
Since October, Sergei Udaltsov has taken part in a number of public events. His address is well known to the police. His arrest on 10 December would appear to have been motivated primarily by the desire to prevent his participation in anticipated post-election protests.