Russia: Belsat TV reporter in custody for ‘swearing, swinging arms’

Alexander Saveliev

A local court has found Krasnodar activist and Belsat TV contributor Alexander Saveliev guilty of disorderly conduct. He will have to spend seven days in custody.

On Thursday morning Saveliev was detained near the office of Alexei Navalny’s movement in Krasnodar. According to the policemen who provided testimony in court, our colleague ‘ was swinging his arms, swearing loudly and did not respond to the comments of passers-by’.

In addition to journalistic activity, Saveliev is involved in the Environmental Watch on North Caucasus and linked to opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Apart from Saveliev, four civic activists were detained and sentenced to several-day prison terms. Total Mode, a joint operation of the Federal Security Service and the police, is in progress in the city, the Environmental Watch reports. The arrests are aimed at twarting the rally against the pension reform scheduled for September, 9.

In late August, Navalny was arrested for 30 days. Apparently, the Russian authorities are set to prevent him from showing up at the protests against the pension reform in early September. They also want to silence him for the period of Putin’s voicing the plan of a ‘softer’ version of the reform.