Moscow police raid homes of opposition candidates

On Wednesday evening, the police searched homes of several opposition candidates who were going to run for a seat in the Moscow City Duma over ‘creating difficulties to election commissions’. The Investigative Committee states that the opposition activists intended to thwart their activity and staged the rallies near the building of the Moscow City Election Commission.

The corresponding criminal case was opened shortly before the raids under Art. 141 of the Criminal Code, which may carry punishment of up to 5 years in prison.

About 22.00 it became known about the search of Dmitry Gudkov’s flat. The police seized three laptops, a computer processing unit, pen drives, and an iPhone. Mr Gudkov was summoned for questioning; according to the activist, he is in the status of a witness so far.

Later, there were reports about the police’s visits to other candidates, including Ivan Zhdanov, Alexei Navalny’s associate and Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation Fund (after the search he was taken for questioning), district councillor Nikolai Balandin and Moscow City Duma candidate Alexander Solovyov.

Two other candidates – Yulia Galyamina and Lyubov Sobol – were summoned for questioning to the Investigative Committee. According to Ms Sobol, the investigators just had given her a ring; she said she would not appear before them until she officially got a summons.

As reported earlier, the riot police arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Wednesday morning. The ground for detention is his call on Muscovites to take part in the unauthorised rally on July, 27. The politician will have to spend 30 days in jail, so will activist Mark Galperin. Konstantin Kotov and Alexander Archagov got 10 days in custody each.

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