On July 14, the Oktyabrsky District Court of Murmansk settled the claim of the local Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) for committing Violetta Grudina, a former head of Navalny's headquarters*, to a hospital. The agency’s representatives claimed that the activist, who had been sick with coronavirus, had allegedly gone outside, which was a violation of the stay-at-home order. Grudina showed a negative coronavirus test in court, and officials decided to conduct additional studies. Violetta Grudina told 7x7 about this.
During the second court hearing on July 14, a representative of the regional Ministry of Health said that there was no reason to commit Violetta Grudina, who had provided a negative test for coronavirus at the first hearing on July 12, to a hospital. Despite the doctor’s statement, the court settled Rospotrebnadzor’s claim. Grudina’s defense is planning to appeal this decision.
Violetta Grudina called the court's decision to commit her to a hospital "politically motivated" in her Telegram channel. The young woman noted that she had normal saturation (blood oxygenation), no fever, and a negative coronavirus test from a clinic, certified by Rospotrebnadzor.
"If I, a healthy person, am committed to a COVID hospital now, who can promise me that I will not catch a new viral strain there? That I will not get sick again? That I will not die from complications? Of course, no one can. The goal of this all is to prevent me from submitting documents to the Central Election Committee on time. Of course, no one will let my proxies and lawyers see me," Grudina said.
Vadim Meshcheryakov, a spokesman for the Agora Human Rights Organization, told 7x7 that the court's decision should have immediate effect and there was no need to wait for the appeal to be considered. According to him, the court should issue a writ of execution, bailiffs should execute the court's decision. At the same time, Meshcheryakov does not know to which medical institution Grudina will be committed and when — in the evening of July 14 or in the morning of July 15.
Violetta Grudina said that on June 19, she had a fever, a doctor visited her and took a test for coronavirus only on June 25. Two days later, the activist was informed about the positive result of the analysis and that she needed to observe the stay-at-home order within two weeks since “the date of contact”. Grudina went outside only when her quarantine finished on July 5; she was distributing leaflets with information about her nomination to the Murmansk City Council.
In the morning of July 9, police officers and Rospotrebnadzor came to her house, demanding that she go to a hospital. They referred to the decision of Lena Lukichyova, the chief officer of health of the region, who demanded that Grudina be committed to a COVID department until she got "negative results". The activist refused to go to a hospital. The official asked the court to commit her to a hospital. On the same day, the police opened a criminal case against Grudina for violating sanitary and epidemiological norms (Part 1 of Article 236 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
Violetta Grudina is a well-known activist in Murmansk Oblast and the former head of Alexei Navalny’s headquarters*. Since 2017, she has organized a rally of the politician’s supporters, participated in rallies against the retirement-age increase, in support of political prisoners, against amendments to the Constitution of Russia. The police would detain the activist and search her apartment because of her political activity. Courts would fine Grudina, arrest her, and block her bank accounts. Before the unagreed action in support of Navalny on April 21, unknown people put up leaflets with Grudina’s contact details and calls to "protect the city from this evil" in the entrance hall of her house. When she was in the building of the former Navalny’s headquarters*, unknown people fired at the windows.