On the night of 13 to 14 July, activists Konstantin Ishutov and Sergei Zotov were beaten by employees of a private security company during the check of one of the gambling establishments in Cheboksary. The third raid participant, Alex Lapshin, who conducted a live broadcast, was not injured.
According to Ishutov, activists conducted a raid on gambling establishments. Sergei Zotov came to an underground casino earlier; according to activists, co-owner of this casino is one of the deputies of the city assembly. He was detained by security guards and was not allowed to leave the basement under the pretext of waiting for the police.
Zotov informed Ishutov and Lapshin. The activists tried to call the police, but they could not reach the duty department within seven minutes: no one picked up the phone. Ishutov and Lapshin came to the scene and began a live Periscope broadcast. They demanded certificates from the guards, but were refused in a rude form. They could not leave the building either: the guards kept them in the hall under the same pretext of waiting for the police. After about 15 minutes, Konstantin Ishutov managed to reach the police and the prosecutor on duty and inform them about illegal detention.
After activists tried to get out of the basement, guards applied thuggish force to them. Sergei Zotov’s head was hit against the wall and chair: he was bleeding, but the guards were not going to call an ambulance. Konstantin Ishutov was struck in the chest, and then thrown on concrete steps, breaking the lens of an expensive camera.
On July 9, Konstantin Ishutov reported on the persecution by the police. The blogger has repeatedly publicly criticized law enforcement agencies, and also drew attention to an illegal casino, located in one of the shopping centers of Cheboksary. Law enforcement agencies ignore his requirements to conduct a check.
A group of civil activists, bloggers and journalists of Chuvashia conducts raids on gambling establishments in the capital of the republic. According to their monitoring, the problem appeared after Sergei Neyaskin was appointed the Republican Minister of the Interior. Over the past two weeks, activists have identified 13 allegedly illegal gambling establishments, three of which they have already visited, held a ‘control purchase’: after passport registration, membership cards, and after loss of a small amount in slot machines they called the police.
According to the law, gambling in Russia has been banned since 2009. An exception were only specially organized zones: Altai, Krasnodar, Primorsky Krai and the Kaliningrad Region. The casinos also function on the territory of the Crimea.
Ekaterina Bogdanova, «7x7»