Last weekend, we learned that in Moscow, the publisher of Mediazona and a member of the artistic group War and Pussy Riot Petr Verzilov were arrested. At first, there were reports of his abduction on the network, because the door was broken in Verzilov’s apartment and he himself did not contact for several hours. Verzilov later said that he had been questioned in the “Moscow affair” and that the search of the apartment had been authorized by Major General Rustam Gabdulin, who heads the investigation team. We have gathered in our documents the essentials of the current situation.
Reason for detention
Several versions of what happened appeared in the press. Thus, referring to its sources, TASS reported that Verzilov was detained “in the context of verification of extremism”. At the same time, the REN television channel clarified that the reason for the detention was the publication by Verzilov of a photograph on the Internet, to which was added a quote from a song by a Ukrainian artist who had expressed calls extremists to Russia.
And Mediazona editor Sergei Smirnov has suggested that Verzilov may have been arrested on suspicion of preparing for the rally for the Victory Day parade, which is slated for June 24. However, Smirnov said that, according to his information, Verzilov had not prepared any action. Later denied this version and Peter himself.
However, this version of the BBC was told by an anonymous source in the entourage of Verzilov. According to him, during one of the parade rehearsals, the activist wanted to take a photo repeating the legendary photo of Tiananmen Square in Beijing – a man standing in front of the chariot. The original photo taken in 1989 has become a symbol of the suppression of student protests in China.
Later it became known that the police came to the founder of the ART 4 gallery, Igor Markin, who organized exhibitions on the history of the radical art group War, as well as exhibitions on the works of Pussy Riot , Pyotr Pavlensky and Oleg Navalny.
According to him, the searches took place both in the gallery and in his apartment, adjacent to the exhibition hall. According to Markin, 15 to 20 people participated, including riot police. The press service of the main management of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow did not comment on this information to journalists.
Peter Verzilov and Alexey Navalny
Peter Verzilov himself said that he was taken to the Krasnoselsky District Police Department, where he was interrogated in connection with the events of July 27, 2019, that is, in the so-called ” case of Moscow ”. Recall, then a series of unauthorized rallies in favor of the candidates took place, that the Moscow city council did not authorize elections to the Moscow Duma.
Verzilov said that his interrogation lasted 13 hours and that he was also questioned about Navalny and his trips abroad. The activist noted that at the time of the rallies he was in Estonia, where he worked as a counselor in a children’s camp, but they explained to him that he was interrogated not as a participant, but as ” organizer of mass riots ”. After the interrogation, Verzilov was released.
Pyotr Verzilov received nothing, he remained a witness in the “Moscow case”, which is de facto closed, he is not being investigated. Obviously, this was used as a pretext for research, long investigations, in particular to recover a cell phone. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this huge special operation was just about removing a cellphone, to check if it was still planning an action or not,
– Sergey Smirnov commented on the situation of the Moscow echo.
After his release after interrogation, Pyotr Verzilov was attacked by a provocator at the exit of the police station (the name of the young man has not yet been mentioned in the press).
The provoker attacked and simply knocked down – there was no combat, and there were two operas around and cops in 20 seconds,
– Verzilov described the incident to a BBC correspondent.
Peter Verzilov and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova
At the same time, the attacking young man himself claims that they “just collided and fell to the ground”. These are his words that lead to “Mediazona”. The two were eventually taken to the Meshchansky Police Station for further procedures. Verzilov was also left in the department for the night.
According to the head of the international human rights group Agora, Pavel Chikov, a protocol on petty hooliganism has been drawn up by the editor of Mediazony (article 20.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses). The article provides for a sentence of up to 15 days’ arrest.
This morning it was learned that Verzilov had been taken to a trauma center to repair his injuries after yesterday’s attack. Peter Leonid Soloviev’s lawyer was not informed.
Pyotr Verzilov was left overnight at the Meshchansky Police Department and today the court examined his administrative file for hooliganism and sent him for 15 days. So that these 15 days, when there will be a parade and votes, Pyotr Verzilov should not pass on the street, God forbid, to do actions, but in a special detention center,
– commented on Sergey Smirnov.
We note that no official decision concerning Verzilov has yet been taken. According to the lawyer, the court is to appear today in the afternoon at the Meshchansky district court in Moscow.
Based on materials: www.spletnik.ru