Vostok-Forum attacked by OMON

Russian police attacked an international youth meeting near Apatity (Murmansk Region, Russian Federation)

On the evening of the 1st of August 2013 Russian OMON (Armed Unit of Interior Ministry), faces covered and equipped with machine pistols, in collaboration with the agents of Investigation Committee raided the touristic base “Russ” (13 kilometers from Apatity, in Murmansk region). An international youth forum, the “Vostok Forum”, was taking place there. The 30 participants of the Vostok Forum (15 residents of the European Union, 12 persons from Germany) and other guests were on the touristic base.

Some of the people were forced to stand face to the wall or thrown on the ground in a brutal manner. Nobody was allowed to make phone calls, or take photos or videos of the Russian force. Some of the participants were not allowed to lock their rooms or fetch their medicines. No document confirming the legal conduct of such operation was shown. Participants of the Forum were not explained about their rights. Formally, the whole action was “a search for a person accused of completing a criminal activity”. However, policemen asked as well more general questions concerning the participant’s relations to Russia and the aims of the Forum. Translator into the native languages was not provided. One of the participants of the Forum, a citizen of Germany was treated more violently, which resulted in a shock. Assistance of the Russian emergency service was needed.

One of the participants of the Forum, civil activist Aleksey Raskhodtchikov, was arrested. A few days before the start of the Forum he was also accused of attacking a police officer. At this moment, there is a lack of information about the legal circumstances of the arrest and the further situation of Raskhodtchikov.

The organizers of the Forum – “Humanistic Movement of Youth” (Russia) and AG Russland (Germany) are deeply concerned about the situation, when the agents of the Investigation Committee and OMON act without complying with the norms of the international law. Holding all the participants of the Forum, limiting their freedom of movement, they do not consider necessary to explain their rude behaviour and to inform about the people's rights.

For 8 years Vostok-Forum takes place annually on the Russian Kola-peninsula. It offers a platform for young students, scientists, artists and activists. The topics for discussion are researched in a so-called „Open Process“.


Contacts:+79086073975 – Zhanna Ponomarenko+79211690490 – Tatyana Kulbakina

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