Russia: Check into police beating of young woman protester on 6 May
Russia’s Investigative Committee has begun a check into the beating by OMON [riot police] officers of a young, and according to some reports, pregnant woman detained during the March of a Million on 6 May (in protest at the imminent inauguration of Vladimir Putin) An official spokesperson for the Committee said that an investigation had been called after a video clip was released on the Internet which shows the woman being kicked in the stomach during the protest on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow. The spokesman said that measures would be taken to establish the identity of the specific OMON officers. The Moscow police are also trying to establish the exact time and place of the events, as well as who took part.
There have been demands from parliamentarians and human rights groups to investigate the incident.
As reported, the demonstrations on 6 May resulted in some clashes and at least 400 people being detained.
The Memorial Human Rights Centre issued a statement saying that while the enforcement bodies had been ready to use harsh measures, the lack of coordination among the protesters was also a contributing factor. Those beaten did not only include active participants in the clashes, but also elderly people, women and people standing far removed.
Memorial also points out that on 7 May Moscow was “cleared of citizens” and residents were prohibited from leaving their homes.
A white ribbon on a person’s clothes proved grounds for unlawful arrests”. Nor were only protesters among the more than 500 people who had been detained by evening.
Memorial ends with the words that the way Putin’s presidency has begun give new grounds to fear for Russia’s future.