On January 21, employees of the Center for Countering Extremism in the Ulyanovsk Region came to Anastasia Oleinik, the secretary of the local branch of the Open Russia movement, and searched her apartment. Two hours later, they also came to the coordinator of the local branch of the movement Alexey Lysyakov. They learned that searches were related to a criminal case against Anastasia Shevchenko, a member of the federal council of the Open Russia movement from Rostov-on-Don. The correspondent of «7x7» talked with the Ulyanovsk activists of the movement.
"We are the witnesses in the case"
As Lysyakov and Oleinik told, computers, electronics, mobile phones, documents related to the organization’s activities, including bank documents and bank cards, campaign posters, and political literature, were seized from them.
"I was taken to the police department and they took evidence from me," Alexey Lysyakov said. "This is due to the persecution of one of our activists in Rostov. I got a non-disclosure agreement."
The same thing happened to Anastasia Oleinik.
Both activists reported that four officers of the Center for Countering Extremism searched their apartments in the presence of two attesting witnesses, one of which was from Rostov-on-Don. Both were informed that they were in the status of witnesses. "But in our country, there is only one step from a witness to a suspect," said Lysyakov.
Anastasia Oleinik suggested that the police seized things that would help prove the guilt of the Rostov activist, and now these things will be forwarded to Rostov-on-Don. "Do they have a right to take away personal belongings of witnesses?" Oleinik said. "We are not involved in the case."
An employee of the Center for Countering Extremism interrogated Igor Toporkov, a member of the Ulyanovsk Regional Council of the Open Russia movement, in the same case, but he refused to testify, referring to Art. 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
"There was some inadequate person sitting in front of me, we did not understand each other," said Toporkov about his visit to the police to testify and added that he couldn’t tell anything, because even though he met Shevchenko twice (at the congress of supporters of Ksenia Sobchak and during her arrival in Ulyanovsk), but did not talk to her.
"Lack of testimony"
On January 22, Anastasia Oleinik told «7x7» that she was again summoned to the Center for Countering Extremism, because, as she was told, the testimony taken the day before was "not enough for the protocol". "But it’s difficult for me to talk about a person whom I don’t know personally: I saw her for five minutes and I don’t know anything about her," Oleinik added.
"I consider it as a campaign of arbitrariness, as insanity of the system. We are attributed to some kind of British "Open Russia", which no longer exists," Igor Toporkov said and added that he, too, was repeatedly summoned to the regional Center for countering extremism.
Ulyanovsk coordinator of the Golos Association, a member of the Memorial Society, Sergey Plyasunov, said «7x7» that actions against "Open Russia"’s activists in the regions are a consequence of some kind of "order from above":
"Such cases do not surprise me, there are so many of them happening all over the country, that they can only be acknowledged. Search? Well, ok. Detained? No. Let's see what will happen next."
Ulyanovsk activists of the Russian movement "Open Russia" are witnesses in a criminal case, which was instituted against Anastasia Shevchenko, a member of the federal council of the movement "Open Russia" from Rostov-on-Don, under article 284.1 of the Criminal Code. Activists from different cities were searched.
Sergey Gogin, «7x7»