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G8 Protest Harassment and Repressions in Russia

Harassment and Repressions in Russia

Trade Union Solidarity Action Committee of Saint
Petersburg and Leningrad Region

Dear Friends and Comrades!

We have to resort to you with an appeal for help and international solidarity!

Russia is on the verge of the G 8 summit which is to be hosted in
Saint Petersburg.

At the same time our country is experiencing another series of
political violence and reprisals.

Contrary to the official G-8 summit an alternative event has been
planned to be held in Saint Petersburg by the Russian Social Forum.

The activists belonging to different political and grass root
organizations and groups scattered all over Russia are coming to Saint
Petersburg to participate in the alternative "summit". Among them are
the activists of the all Russian Society of Hostels and Dormitories
Dwellers Rights, activists of the anti "monetization laws" movement,
trade union activists of the Siberian Confederation of Labor and from
other regions, different human right groups activists and many other

These persons are being harassed and persecuted by the local police
and security services agents on their way to Saint Petersburg.
Some people are being stopped and arrested at the air ports and rail
way stations without any legal pretext. Some activists have been
detained illegally. One person from Siberia has disappeared.

Up to this date at least 100 people have been detained under various
pretexts having no legal force. People are forcefully deprived of
their documents, transportation tickets, stalked by unknown
individuals and then once again arrested by police on the pretext of
protecting their personal safety (!). On different occasions people
have brutally been mishandled by police and secret service agents.

Here in Saint Petersburg Vladimir Soloveichik, one of the leaders of
the Civil Initiatives Movement of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad
region has been detained in his own apartment and now has been taken
under police custody.

In Saint Petersburg some more arrests have been made: two girls were
arrested last Monday on Sennaya square for handing out materials on
the Russian Social Forum, two activists from Germany have been
detained under a pretext of violating "their legal status of staying
in a foreign country". Now they are being kept in police station N 36
of Saint Petersburg together with another Russian citizen.

A peaceful demonstration planned during the G-8 meeting in the period
of July, 15–17, has been banned by the authorities.

It seems that the authorities are trying to provoke illegal actions
and then blame them on committing "terrorists and illegal actions".

All this is going on at a time when the civil rights of many other
individuals in other Russian regions are being violated and neglected.

We are unsure if those arrests and reprisals have been initiated by
the authorities in Moscow or by the local authorities. But all this
seems to be a very well coordinated and concerted action.

We are appealing to all people in the Western countries and asking
them to voice their solidarity with the Russian political and social
activists at this critical moment on the eve of the G- 8 summit. We
suggest that you request the Russian embassies and consulates in the
West European countries that they provide you for necessary
information. We suggest that you picket their offices.

Please spread the word!

A traditional Russian police state Russia is making a comeback! What
we see now is an authoritative state brutally repressing legal and
civil rights of the Russian citizens.

Is Russia worth being a G- 8 member?

We also urge you to come to Saint Petersburg and witness everything
with your own eyes.

In solidarity

Trade Union Solidarity Action Committee of Saint Petersburg and
Leningrad Region