The Memorial, Public Verdict Human Rights Organizations, and the Open Russia Political Movement suggested that activists, lawyers, and attorneys join their forces and issue amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code in order to avoid using "searches of frightening". Memorial's media office announced this on October 6.
The appeal on Memorial’s website claims that security forces began using searches in order to frighten activists. Human rights advocates believe that courts often issue search warrants without really understanding the facts of a case and without worrying about the violation of the home privacy law.
"It's almost a tradition to start early in the morning, sometimes before six o'clock. They often break down or cut off the front door. They confiscate all computers, phones, and data carriers from a searched person and their relatives — even if the case under investigation has no connection with gadgets. Sometimes they seize money and bank cards for no reason, leaving people destitute, or take away long-term savings. They do not give equipment and money back for years, or they completely disappear inside the investigative authorities' belly. Such searched, in fact, are not much different from a robbery. Searches without a lawyer, with breaking doors and seizing equipment are regularly used not only against suspects and defendants, but also against witnesses who are even less procedurally protected,” the authors of the release say.
According to the initiators, such pressure might be used not only against civil activists, but also against suspects in general crimes in the nearest future.
The authors of the initiative offer developing a package of measures that will include a tribute to deceased journalist Irina Slavina’s memory in the form of suggestions on changing the current criminal procedure legislation in relation to searches. To do this, they suggest that activists, lawyers, attorneys, and human rights defenders join their forces.
On October 2, journalist Irina Slavina from Nizhny Novgorod committed suicide at the building of the regional Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The day before, her apartment was searched as part of an "undesirable organization's" case brought up against two activists of the Open Russia Movement. After a short period, the Investigating Committee claimed that the suicide of the editor-in-chief of Koza.Press had no connection with the search conducted at her place, since she was a witness in the case.
Slavina wrote on her Facebook page before her death, "My death should be laid to the charge of the Russian Federation."