Russian human rights defender arrested on absurd charges
Russian human rights groups have sounded the alarm over the arrest on nonsensical grounds of prominent human rights defender Dmitry Krayukhin from Oryol [Orel]. Krayukhin heads the Institute of Public Issues “Yedinaya Yevropa” [“One Europe”], one of the leading regional human rights organizations.
According to Dmitry Makarov, who describes himself as a colleague, friend and student of Dmitry Alexandrovich Karyukhin, the latter “was thrown to the ground by a young man who then bellowed “Help!”. The police appeared immediately and the young man vanished. The charges that Krayukin used foul language and pestered a passer-by are absurd.
He has already been taken to court once, however due to obvious discrepancies in the story he was returned to the police station.
A little earlier, under similar circumstances, the leader of the local United Civic Front [Kasparovs party – translator] Georgy Sarkisyan was arrested outside his home. He was jailed for 10 days and there are strong grounds for expecting the same outcome for Krayukhin.”
Ludmila Alexeeva, Head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, told Interfax: “Dmitry Krayukhin is a well-known Oryol human rights defender and our long-standing partner. We regard his arrest as an act of provocation”.
“We will be following events during the coming days and will send a representative of the Moscow Helsinki Group to Oryol. The entire human rights community will speak out in his defence”.
Ludmila Alexeeva is convinced that the authorities have arrested Krayukhin to prevent him monitoring the elections.
The Russian human rights site www.hro.org report that Krayukhin had repeatedly written about infringements linked with the coming elections. He had disseminated information, lodged complaints with the election commission and was planning to coordinate monitoring at all polling stations. Mr Krayukhin has begun a hunger strike in protest at the absurd charges laid against him.