Russia: antifascist Alen Volikov arrested, declares hunger strike

On the evening of November 8, Moscow's Tagansky court ordered that antifascist Alen Volikov be taken into custody. Volikov was detained on suspicion of involvement in the brawl at Moscow's Vozdukh club in December 2011, and of beating up a nationalist. 

At Vozdukh, the club's security guards, who held nationalist views, attacked gig-goers at an antifascist gig and then accused antifascists of attacking them. During a probe into the criminal case, which was initiated under Article 213, Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons), in February and April 2012 respectively Moscow-based antifascists Alexei Olesinov and Alexei Sutuga were detained, and are now in pre-trial detention. Investigators also try to allege that they took part in beating up a young nationalist but the charges were not yet pressed. According to Sutuga and Olesinov, the victims made confessions blaming them under pressure from police and Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives. 

The third person named in the "Moscow antifascist case", Alen Volikov, was detained in Moscow on November 6 at about 10 p.m., but officially the detention was only registered at Moscow criminal police headquarters in Petrovka street at 2 a.m. on November 7. Two face-to-face interrogations with victims, the club's security guard and a young nationalist who was allegedly beaten, were held. Investigators did not react to Volikov's request to allow presence at interrogations of his lawyer, not a court-appointed one. Volikov was not even allowed to get in touch with his lawyer, neither was Volikov allowed to inform relatives about his detention.

Volikov's lawyer Farid Murtazin (Agora Association) had to call around Moscow's courts to find out where the hearing on pre-trial restrictions for his client would be taking place. Investigators explained the need to take Volikov into custody by the fact that he was on a federal wanted list before he was detained. However, Volikov peacefully lived in his Moscow Region hometown and did not receive any notices or interview summons, thus he was quite unaware of that. 

The court has absolutely ignored defence lawyer's arguments concerning irregularities during detention and during investigative actions, and ordered that Volikov remains in custody until December 18.
Volikov declared a hunger strike as a protest against infringement of his rights. He remains at temporary detention facility in Petrovka street. On November 9, Volikov is due to be transferred to Moscow's Butyrka prison. 

Nov 9, 2012 


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