Freedom News

“I was met by the FSB, a bag on my head, a taser, the usual”

On May 29, anti-war activist Alexey Rozhkov, who had fled from Russia to Kyrgyzstan, was extending his temporary registration in his host country. And the very next day, early in the morning, security forces broke into his home. On June 7, lawyer Kamil Isabekov visited Alexey Rozhkov in a temporary detention centre in the suburbs of Yekaterinburg (the largest city in the Urals) to find out the circumstances of his transfer to Russia.  Anti-war human rights initiative Solidarity Zone wrote about it.

Alexey Rozhkov:

“I was detained early in the morning in a rented temporary flat by a large number of operatives, five to seven. All my tech equipment was immediately taken away. They told me to take all my things with me, but they didn’t let me pack properly. They brought me to the department [GKNB — State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan]. In neighbouring rooms, the screams of people who were being tortured were often and continuously heard. I was threatened with torture if I did not cooperate.

My detention took place the next morning after I renewed my registration, so I doubt that this is a coincidence. I told them about how I renewed my registration, then I was taken to the airport. [During the flight, Rozhkov was accompanied by two officers of the Kyrgyz secret services in civilian clothes.] Upon arrival [in Russia], I was met by the FSB, bag over my head, taser, the usual”.

Alexey Rozhkov is an anarchist, he became the third in Russia to set fire to the military enlistment office after the full-scale invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine. He was detained and charged with “attempted murder” — allegedly there was a female guard in the building of the military registration and enlistment office. However, six months later, the charge was reclassified as “damage to property” and Rozhkov was released from the pre-trial detention centre. Against the backdrop of statements by the authorities that the arson of military registration and enlistment offices should be qualified as “terrorist acts”, Rozhkov left Russia.

After the escape, in an interview with DOXA, Rozhkov explained the motive for his act: “I just understood that one cannot remain indifferent. What is happening now is illegitimate, it is illegal. Any war is death for ordinary citizens. […] I wanted to make some kind of call for people to start fighting this war, I wanted to influence the situation, do something to stop all this or at least weaken [Russian troops]”.

After the security forces brought Rozhkov to Russia, a court in the suburbs of Yekaterinburg resumed the trial in his case. On June 6, at a meeting, the prosecutor requested that the case be returned for additional investigation. The next hearing is scheduled for June 14.

Solidarity Zone observe a tendency to reclassify such cases under the article of a “terrorist act”, and initiative are afraid of such a turn in the case of Alexey Rozhkov. Therefore, initiative Solidarity Zone call for maximum publicity of this situation. People should not be handed over to the criminal Putin regime, and anti-war arson should not be qualified as terrorist attacks. In the end, neither one nor the other corresponds to both international norms and Russian laws.

Now Alexey Rozhkov is being held in SIZO-1 in Yekaterinburg, and letters can be written to him.

Address for letters: 620019, Russia, Yekaterinburg, Repina street, 4, SIZO-1, Rozhkov Alexey Igorevich, born in 1997. You can send messages for Alexey to email,  Solidarity Zone will send them to him.

This article first appeared in Avtonom.

Image: Solidarity Zone

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