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  2. In Komi, the court closed the case against the journalist about participation in the action in support of Navalny

In Komi, the court closed the case against the journalist about participation in the action in support of Navalny

Ivan Zhuravkov
Viktor Kokarev
Photo from the «7х7» archive

The Syktyvkar City Court closed the administrative case against local journalist Viktor Kokarev, which was initiated against him due to his participation in an unauthorized rally on January 23d in support of Alexei Navalny. His lawyer Viktor Vorobyov told 7x7 about this.

According to Vorobyov, Kokarev was at the rally on January 23d in Syktyvkar as a journalist: he had a press card on him and a camera in his hands. The lawyer said that Kokarev was not detained at the rally, but after that the police called and asked how they could hand him a summons.

He added that the law enforcement officers did not leave a summons at the journalist's place of registration, could not bring him to the police station and drew up a protocol against Kokarev for participating in an unauthorized action under Part 5 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code without him.

The first hearing on the case took place on February 25th. The police officers who opened the case against Kokarev did not come to court, then the consideration of the case was postponed to March 11th.

According to the lawyer, at the second hearing, he explained to judge Irina Yushkova that Kokarev was at the rally as a journalist, he put on a press card and added that there is a video showing this fact. When Yushkova asked why Kokarev did not explain this to the police before the initiation of the case, the defense attorney replied that, according to the law, he had the right not to do this.

As a result, the Syktyvkar City Court came to the conclusion that Kokarev was at the  unauthorized rally on January 23d in Syktyvkar as a media employee and closed the case due to lack of corpus delicti.

Vorobyov told 7x7 that together with Kokarev he would sue the police to reimburse the court costs.

In Syktyvkar, more than 1,200 people took part in an unauthorized rally on January 23d in support of Alexei Navalny and other political prisoners. Law enforcement officers detained at least six people there. But a few days after the rally, the police began to more actively detain the protesters and journalists covering it. Among them were activist Semyon Sedelkov, who was at the rally as a journalist from a public community of the Komi Republic, journalist of the Krasnoye Znamya newspaper Valery Chernitsyn (he was fined 10 thousand rubles for the fact that he was at the rally without a journalist badge and a yellow vest). At unauthorized rallies on January 31st, law enforcement officers detained journalists en masse, despite their IDs and identification marks.

Viktor Kokarev is an activist, journalist for the New Respublika and New Day publications. In 2018, he participated in the preparation of a text on how the development of new fields for the Lukoil-Komi company in the Usinsky district of Komi negatively affects nature and life of people. Kokarev held a solitary picket in support of his colleagues: Meduza's special correspondent Ivan Golunov, who was accused of selling drugs, and Ilya Azar, who was arrested for picketing.

In August 2019, a security guard at Shies station, where a private investor and officials were planning to build a landfill, hit Kokarev on the arm while he was filming a video. In September 2020, Kokarev participated in the elections of deputies to the Komi State Council. Unidentified persons attacked him twice: they sprayed pepper gas in his face and beat his friend. The police opened a criminal case for the beatings, but, according to 7x7, it was closed a few months later.



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