The Severodvinsk Town Court fined Oleg Mandrykin, the opponent of building high-rise blocks in the central park, for 10 thousand rubles. An administrative case was opened against him because he did not wear a mask at the weekly street meeting of the initiative group of activists on February 28. Mandrykin told 7x7 about this.
The police detained Oleg Mandrykin and activist Maria Kreitor on March 9. Reports were drawn up against them under Article 20.2.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation on arranging a mass event that caused a disturbance of public peace. Another meeting of the opponents of building high-rise blocks in the central park of Severodvinsk, which took place on February 28, was the reason. The activists were taken to court, but it remanded the cases back to the police.
A week later, they were served new subpoenas requiring them to appear at the police on March 16. Mandrykin told 7x7 that he postponed the visit because of his vacation. He added that the trial had taken place on March 29. According to him, he mostly wore a mask at the meetings of activists, but there are several photos in the case file taken after the meeting where he is not wearing it. Mandrykin explained in court that by the end of February, he had gone through coronavirus and had not been dangerous to others. But the court fined him for 10 thousand rubles.
“The case is absolutely politically charged. Fining people for not wearing a mask outside is too much. The order of Rospotrebnadzor [Russian Federal State Agency for Health and Consumer Rights] says that citizens are obliged to wear masks in places where more than 50 people can gather. But this category includes factories, movies, exhibitions, and so on. I asked the judge why the police had not come up to me and asked me to obey the law if they had thought I had been breaking it. But I was told that they were not considering the actions of officials in this case,” Mandrykin told 7x7.
Townspeople have been protesting against building elite high-rise blocks in the central park for more than three months. Authorities gave building estate to the Akvilon-Invest Severodvinsk Company without the consent of local residents. The residents were promised a recreational zone instead of the park on this site. The activists hold weekly meetings in the park. They appealed to the Governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast Alexander Tsybulsky and the prosecutor's office, invited deputies of the regional duma and the municipal council of Severodvinsk and tried to hold a referendum. In March, the developer fenced the park to prepare the site for development.