Moscow: Police staging night raids on protesters’ homes

The Moscow police are conducting the searches over ‘organizing mass disorders’ in the city.

The criminal case was initiated after Saturday’s rally staged by the opposition. During the dispersal of the protesters, law enforcers used batons and stun guns and grabbed 1,388 people.

Overnight into Wednesday, the policemen made a visit to Vasily Kuzmin, Head of the Left Bloc movement. The search was over about 5 am, his computer was seized. Then Kuzmin was taken for questioning to the Investigative Committee, now he is at liberty. For the time being, he is a witness in the case.

At about 5 am, the police also arrived at the place of Sergei Fomin, a participant in the rally. At that moment, he was out. The search was carried out at least 10 officers.

On July 24, the police searched homes of might-have-been candidates 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.

Last Wednesday, the riot police arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny over his call on Muscovites to take part in the unauthorised rally on July, 27. The politician has to spend 30 days in jail, so does activist Mark Galperin. Konstantin Kotov and Alexander Archagov got a 10-day term in custody each.

On July 28, Navalny was taken to hospital due to a ‘severe allergic reaction’. Physician Anastasia Vasilyeva, who earlier treated Navalny, does not rule out that ‘toxic damage’ to the skin and mucous membranes was caused by an unknown chemical substance and is the result of the action of a third person.

Russian opposition leader in hospital. Allergic reaction or poisoning?