Torture and one person missing: new wave of repressions against Russian anarchists

At early hours of Friday 1st February, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) raided several flats in Moscow, arresting 10 people under “conspiracy charges”. All but one were released following “all day interrogations and physical tortures”.

The person remanded in custody is a Moscow State University student Azat Miftahov who is accused of being a member of “radical anarchist organisation Narodnaya Samooborona” (Peoples’ Self-Defence) and “fabricating explosives”.

Narodnaya Samooborona, described by the FSB as “extremist anarchist community with the goal to overthrow the constitutional order” has been a target of state repressions during last year, with several members of the group arrested, tortured and threatened.

One of the anarchists arrested last Friday, Daniil Galkin, reported he was tortured in order to extract a confession that Azat Miftahov was an anarcho-communist who took part in political actions. Galkin was also forced to give an interview compromising anarchists to a Russian federal TV-channel Channel 1, and he was made to promise to “collaborate with the police by providing information about anarchist actions”.

Galkin reported that during his arrest, he saw Azat at the Balashiha police station in Moscow. According to Galkin, Azat “did not look like a human being” due to torture inflicted on him. He also said he heard screams of one of the arrested female activists who was detained in the cell next to his. According to some journalists and witnesses, one of the arrested, most likely Azat Miftahov, attempted suicide in order to avoid further torture and giving away any information about his comrades.

Azat was kept in detention at Balashiha police station until late night of 1st February. He was denied the right to see his lawyer. At night he was taken out of his cell and the police station, right in front of his lawyer who had waited for him, and taken in an unknown direction. His location is unknown.

Currently, in Russia and the recently annexed territories, there are several cases against anarchists under “terrorist” charges. One of them is “The Network” case, the others are the case against anarchist Vyatcheslav Lukichev, the case against anarchist Kirill Kuzminkin, and the case against Crimean anarchist Evgeniy Karakashev.

Russian anarchists ask for solidarity actions, information sharing, and financial support.

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