Freedom News

Several tortured anarchists flee Russia

While international media and liberal politicians delight in the spectacle of the Russian presidential election, Russian and Belarusian anarchists and antifascist continue to struggle with massive repressions by the intelligence service, the police and the judiciary. There are several reports from activists who have fled Russia as a result of arrest and torture.

Aleksei Shestakovich from Sevastopol has fled to Ukrainian territory after being interrogated and tortured. Before his arrest, he was attacked by the FSB [Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation] unit “Alfa” at home. The officers beat him in the face, neck and upper body. When they saw a black and red flag, they asked, ” Are you from the Right Sector, or what? “. The Right Sector is a far-right Ukrainian nationalist political party and movement using red and black as their colours. After Schestakovich told them that black and red stood for freedom and communism and had nothing in common with the flag of the Ukrainian nationalists, he was beaten again. Then they dragged him into a bus,  where they pulled a bag over his head so tightly that he could not breathe. When he signaled that he is suffocating, at first they pulled even harder. Further mistreatment and humiliation followed.

A court later sentenced Shestakovich to eleven days’ imprisonment for posting on social media two songs by the band Ansambl, which is  classified in Russia as “extremist”. His statements about torture were simply ignored by the court.

Ilja Kapustin from St. Petersburg, arrested and tortured as a member of the alleged terrorist organisation “The Network”, fled to Finland. He was arrested on 25th January 2018. Under blows and use of electric shocks he was forced to make statements about other imprisoned anarchists and the anarchist movement. The professional industrial climber was also threatened with breaking his legs and leaving him in the forest. After his release, he applied for a visa for Finland, where he applied for asylum.

In an anonymous post at  the ABC Belarus website, someone describes torture methods in an interrogation in Belarusian city of Brest. At first, the author’s father was picked up by the police at work and interrogated. Then the author was detained by the police when he was at home and interrogated in a car. He was asked if he was an anarchist and requested to name other anarchists. Since he refused, he was threatened with being shoot the knee. The officers then drove him into the woods, where they held a gun in his back and asked him what his last words are.

ABC Belarus also reports that the activists from Belarus who are already known to the authorities were refused entry to Russia by plane. Long-term entry bans were issued without further explanation. There is a presumption that this is related to the continued repression in Russia against alleged members of “The Network”.

Source: Indymedia Germany

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