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Chuvash activist fined for a one-man protest

Daniil Kuznetsov

Chuvash supporters of the opposition politician Vyacheslav Maltsev were fined 20 thousand rubles for unauthorazed picketing in Cheboksary. Vyacheslav Rybakov stood with a placard, while his colleague Anton Everskov was filming his companion with camera, but the police decided that both of them had participated in the picketing. On April 16, a human rights activist of the Open Russia Yury Sidorov posted the information on his page on Facebook.

Sidorov, who appeared for the activists in court, published an extract from the court judgement: "Everskov in the guise of interviewing Rybakov, pursuing the same goal to conduct an unauthorized public event in the form of picketing, introducing himself as an "independent reporter..." According to the human rights activist, the court judgement "kills the institute of one-man protest" in the Chuvash Republic.

"Now, whether you like it or not, if you conduct a single-man protest, and, God forbid, they come to you to say hello or ask a question, then you are law breakers and you face a big fine or arrest," he posted on Facebook.

"I'm unemployed, I don't have either 1 000 or 20 000 [rubles]. I told them (to the police): "Do you think these fines will stop us? Or rapping? I'm ready to go till the end, for Vyacheslav Maltsev, for 05.11.17, for democracy!"- commented the fined activist Rybakov on the court judgement on his Facebook page.

Chuvash supporters of Maltsev are going to collect money for the activists to pay the fine via the Internet.


On Sunday, April 16, the supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev conducted their regular "walk of free people" in Cheboksary, also called a "walk of the opposition". This time it was dedicated to the arrest of their leader for disobeying police officers during the anti-corruption rally in Moscow on March 26. After the "walk", the activist stood in a single-man protest with the slogan "Free Vyacheslav Maltsev," but the provocateur holding a poster "Walkers,good riddance" tried to balk him. The police held the activists administratively liable – they were detained and on the same day fined 20 thousand rubles under Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offenses Code ("Violation of the established procedure for holding pickets").

"Walks of the opposition" as a format of a protest rally does not require the authorization of the authorities, and Russian activists regularly conduct them on Sundays from the fall of 2016. November 5, 2017 is considered as the date of the inevitable revolution in Russia by Vyacheslav Maltsev's supporters, and in each release of the video blog Plokhie Novosti [Bad News] on the YouTube channel Artpodgotovka, they count the days till this date.


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