Moscow court rejects cassation appeal of hunger-striking anti-fascist

On November 21, Moscow City Court has refused to grant a cassation appeal filed against arrest of anti-fascist Alen Volikov.   As we reported earlier, Volikov was detained in Moscow on November 6 on suspicion of involvement in the December 2011 brawl at Moscow's Vozdukh club, as well as of beating up a nationalist.

Volikov's detention, as well as other investigative actions were accompanied by numerous irregularities in judicial proceedings. The detention was officially registered at Moscow criminal police headquarters at 38 Petrovka Street only at 2 a.m. on November 7. Two face-to-face interrogations with the alleged victims, a Vozdukh club security guard and a young nationalist, were held. Investigators did not react to Volikov's requests to have his lawyer, not a court-appointed one, present during interviews, neither was Volikov allowed to get in touch with his lawyer or family members.

To justify the need for Volikov to be kept in custody, investigators said that he was on a federal wanted list before he was detained. However, Volikov lived peacefully in his Moscow Region hometown, and did not receive any summons or notices, thus he was quite unaware of that.

On November 8, Basmanny Court has rejected all defence arguments concerning irregularities in judicial proceedings and ordered to take Volikov into custody until December 18. To protest that, Volikov declared a hunger strike, which he still maintains. However, Moscow City Court also refused to change pre-trial restrictions for Volikov, and ordered to keep him at a pre-trial detention centre.

A criminal case was started under Article 213, Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons) concerning a brawl at the Vozdukh club between anti-fascist gig-goers and the venue's nationalist security guards. Moscow-based anti-fascists Alexei Olesinov and Alexei Sutuga were detained in February and April 2012 respectively. They remain in pre-trial detention, like Volikov. Investigators try to accuse them of beating up a young nationalist, but the charges were not yet filed. According to Sutuga and Olesinov, the victims signed statements incriminating them under pressure from the operatives, including Federal Security Service (FSB) officers. The anti-fascists' lawyers reported their clients' complaints concerning illegal and undocumented interrogations, at which lawyers were not present. The suspects were threatened, and told that while the law-enforcers are aware of their innocence, they would still be kept imprisoned.

Volikov, who is in custody at Moscow's Butyrka pre-trial detention centre, was visited by police operatives on November 13, and subjected to psychological pressure aimed at making him admit his guilt. Volikov's lawyer Farid Murtazin reported that the operatives made threats of violence against his family members. The officers said that they would not leave Volikov's parents alone, and would set FSB officers on them.

After that, the operatives said that out of all three people named as suspects in the "Moscow anti-fascist case", Volikov would get the largest amount of charges, including charges under Article 282, Part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (organising criminal community).

Source: website, Nov. 21

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