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Monday, January 07, 2008

Annals of Hounding Russia's Opposition Forces

Grani.ru reports (LR staff translation; about 100 comments already, for those who read Russian):

In Ukraine one of the organizers of the Dissenter's March in Samara, Mikhail Gangan, has been arrested. He was taken into custody in a joint operation of the Ukrainian and Russian security forces at the train station in Vinnytsya on 31 December, said the press secretary Alexander Averin. Gangan is now in solitary confinement.

In 2005, Gangan received a conditional sentence for participating in a political protest action by "Spokesman of the Decembrists" which occurred at the offices the presidential administration of Russia. This spring new criminal charges were filed against him in connection with the organization a Dissenter's March which took place on May 18th in Samara. In doing so, he was accused of violating restrictions of the conditional sentence.

Gangan fled to the Ukraine. In Russia, he was sentenced in absentia to three years' imprisonment. In Ukraine, Gangan appealed to the immigration authorities asking for refugee status. A decision on extradition must be made by the Ukrainian court. Ukrainian members of the human rights group Winnicki already called on the authorities refuse to extradite to Russia.

Newsru.com reports a second such incident a few days later:

Last night in Moscow Artyom Skoropadsky, a former journalist at the "Gazeta" newspaper journalist, was assaulted on the street near his home. Skoropadsky told Echo of Moscow Radio: "I noticed a young man, I turned, he hit me several times and escaped without trying for my money or mobile phone." He sustained injuries to the face including a broken nose.

The journalist activities including covering events involving the opposition coalition "The Other Russia" but he did not write any sensational material - only the rank and file reports from the Dissenter Marches or information from press conferences by former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov. In December, he accompanied by Mikhail Kasyanov to visit to the voters in Voronezh and Tambov. Skoropadsky said that does not know what may have prompted the attack.

Recall that on the evening of January 5, two unknown men beat 17-year-old "Other Russia' activist Marina Koleda. The attack took place near the stairwell home where she resides. According to the banned National Bolshevik Party's press secretary Alexander Averina, Koleda suffered a concussion and broken fingers. Averin also suggested that the activist had been by members of the Russian secret police.

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