New persecution of election observer in Oryol (Russia)


Dmitry Krayukhin from the Institute of Public Issues “Yedinaya Yevropa” [“One Europe”], an Oryol [Orel] human rights organization, has contacted the Moscow Helsinki Group with information about a new wave of persecution over his attempts to uncover infringements during the elections.

He reports receiving a letter from the police regarding an investigation being initiated over administrative offences.  The document alleges that on the day of the parliamentary elections, prompted by hooliganism and in violation of the law, he obstructed the work of members of the electoral commission of polling station No. 82, took photos and video footage without permits for this and blinded members of the commission with his flash).  He supposedly failed to react to comments from commission members.

“The document implies that I am trying to hide from officials of the Zavodsky District Police Station.  I was indeed at polling station No. 82.  At the polling station they obstructed the work of an accredited media representative from the Information and Analysis Human Rights Agency “TsentrRus”.  Following the intervention of the territorial electoral commission, I was present during the vote count. 

During the count of spoilt ballot papers, I observed that some of them “spoilt” in the same way. There was a tick in ink for the Communist Party, but also a mark in another box made in pencil (with the ticks for the Communist Party on different ballot papers being different but the pencil marks identical). As a result, the ballot papers were declared invalid.

I informed an observer from the Communist Party about this, after which I was removed from the polling station for putting pressure on the electoral commission by discrediting them.

As a result, the Communist Party representative and I wrote an application for a criminal investigation to be initiated into the deliberate spoiling of ballot papers. Since this could have been done by members of the electoral commission, there are grounds for speaking of the deliberate rigging of the election results at that polling station.

It should be noted that a few days ago I faced administrative liability for “a robbery attempt”, reclassified as “hooliganism” and “disobeying police officers”. The penalties in this new case also envisage restriction of liberty for 15 days”

Dmitry Krayukhin got off with a thousand rouble fine the first time, but is in no doubt that these two lots of administrative charges over four days suggest that the law enforcement officers are carrying out instructions.

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