Over 50 people detained in Moscow accused of organising protests against war in Ukraine

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KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO – SUNDAY, 12 JUNE 2022, 21:32

Over 50 people were detained on Sunday, 12 June in the Russian metro, allegedly in relation to their involvement in the organisation of protests set to take place in Moscow on 12 June.

Source: Radio Svoboda, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, citing OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights media project and several independent TV channels

Details: Among the detainees there are political activists, journalists, and citizens who have been previously seen at protests against Russian military aggression in Ukraine.

It is noted that the police have used facial recognition software to trace and detain those citizens. Most detainees were asked to sign a "warning about the inadmissibility of illegal actions" and then released. However, some of the detainees were held in custody for four to five hours; their pictures were taken and the police requested that their fingerprints be taken as well.

According to OVD-Info, mass detentions in Moscow took place in relation to information, shared on various Telegram channels, about a protest that was allegedly supposed to take place in central Moscow on 12 June, when the Russian Federation celebrates the Russia Day. It is unclear where this information originated.

No large demonstrations took place in Moscow on Sunday, 12 June. Several people held solitary pickets, which take place in Moscow almost every day.

Dmitriy Koval, who held a poster that read "Freedom to political prisoners! Having an independent opinion is not a crime," was detained in Tverskaya Square. Tatiana Lomakina, who held a solitary picket against the war in Ukraine, was also detained. It is reported that an administrative protocol was drawn up against Lomakina; she is accused of discrediting the actions of the Russian army.

In addition, Ivan Romanov, who used a street musician’s microphone to sing a Ukrainian folk song on Pushkin Square, was also detained. Romanov reported his detention to OVD-Info himself.

Several protesters were also detained in St Petersburg. In particular, Aleksey Abdullin was detained near Gostinniy Dvor; he was holding an anti-war poster. He is also being accused of discrediting the actions of the Russian army.