Freedom News

Russia: arrests and torture of anarchists and antifascists

Two people in St Petersburg and five in Penza (a city in western Russia) are under arrest, while many others have been connected to their cases as witnesses. The arrestees are charged with article 205.4 of the Russian Criminal Code: participation in a terrorist organisation.

On January 24, 23-year-old antifascist Viktor Filinkov had disappeared at Pulkovo Airport in Petersburg. The following day it transpired he had been remanded in police custody as the member of a terrorist network and had ‘confessed.’ Filinkov recounted that after he was detained he had been beaten and tortured with an electric cattle prod, presumably by FSB officers. Filinkov is currently in pre-trial detention for the next two months.

Signs of torture have been confirmed by the Filinkov’s lawyer and members of the Public Monitoring Commission (ONK: body controling observance of human rights in detention facilities) who have visited him in the pre-trial detention. ONK members recorded numerous traces of burns from a taser in the chest area, as well as across the entire surface of the right thigh and hematoma on the right ankle.

According to Filinkov, he had received these injuries on January 24 in a undercover car in which he was put by FSB officers after being detained at the airport. Later he was taken to the police station and then to the hospital, from where he was driven into a forest and beaten for five hours. During the beating, FSB officers demanded Filinkov to confess. After he agreed, Filinkov was threatened that this beating is ‘an easy version of what will happen’ should he retract his confession.  Later, the young man was threatened if he withdraws this testimony, he will be placed in a cell with prisoners suffering from tuberculosis.
The Dzerzhinsky District Court of St. Petersburg arrested Filinkov for two months. He is suspected of participation in the terrorist organisation.  According to the investigation, ‘Filinkov and other unidentified persons, sharing the anarchist ideology, took part in the division of the terrorist community in order to carry out terrorist activities, propaganda, justification and support of terrorism.”

On  25th January, the FSB raided Igor Shishkin’s apartment. After the raid neither his lawyer, nor members of Public Monitoring Commission were able to find Igor for more than a day. On January 27th Igor was brought to court with clear signs of beating. He is currently in pre-trial detention for the next two months. Journalists were not allowed to attend the hearing and  two of them were arrested for trying.

Several witnesses were also tortured: Ilya Kapustin was beaten up and tortured with electric shocks while police demanded he gives testimony that some of his acquantances are up to ‘something dangerous.’ Medical services later recorded numerous traces of stun gun usage.

In Penza, arrests began in October 2017. Local FSB officers have arrested six people, five of whom are currently in pre-trial detention. All of those arrested were brutally tortured.

Legal help is needed for prisoners and witnesses. It will cost at least 200 thousand rubles (around £2600) to pay for lawyers’ fees in the next months. If you want to support the arrested, please donate to ABC Moscow (PayPal: abc-msk(at), with reference ‘St. Petersburg and Penza’.

Sources: Avtonom and

Photo: Viktor Filinkov

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