- Title: Russians hurt in police protest crackdown seek redress in courts
- Date: 9th August 2019
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (AUGUST 6, 2019) (REUTERS) KURGIN WALKING INTO PUBLIC PROSECUTION OFFICE SIGN ON PUBLIC PROSECUTION OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PROTESTER, ANDREI KURGIN, SAYING: "It was like a gang of thugs who attack you in a backstreet out of the blue and thrash you, but in this case the thugs were dressed in uniforms. So, this was it, a thug attack in Moscow downtown."
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2019 17:51
- Keywords: Russian protests police violence human rights in Russia detentions in Russia arrests in Russia Russian opposition
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA007ARHYUKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Bruised Russian teenager Alexander Kostyuk spent three days in hospital being treated for concussion he said he sustained on August 3 when four policemen beat him with truncheons at an opposition protest in Moscow.
It was the second peaceful demonstration in as many weeks by an increasingly defiant opposition to President Vladimir Putin. Both were met by police in riot gear who detained hundreds of protesters, sometimes violently. In some cases, they beat people as they lay on the ground.
A new protest, again to call for free elections in Moscow, is planned in the Russian capital on Saturday.
Kostyuk was among more than 2,300 people detained on July 27 and August 3 in one of the biggest opposition crackdowns in Russia in recent years. He spent several hours in custody like most, and was hospitalised from the police station for his injuries.
It is unclear how many people were injured during the two protests, but at least 15 of them have filed complaints against the police, according to independent rights groups.
The original focus of protesters' anger was a prohibition on a number of opposition-minded candidates from taking part in a September election for Moscow's city legislature.
That vote, though local, is seen as a dry run for a national parliamentary election in 2021.
Activists say the constitution allows them to freely protest. But authorities say the timing and location of any demonstrations must be agreed in advance, something that was not done for either protest which police have called mass unrest.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and other officials have said that the amount of force used during the July 27 protest was appropriate and that what he called the reckless actions of some protesters had forced the police to respond.
Protester Andrei Kurgin plans to go to court to prove he was gratuitously and violently attacked by the police.
Konstantin Konovalov had his leg broken during his detention in central Moscow on July 27 ahead of the protest. He said he was out jogging with no intention of joining the protest when police grabbed him and broke his leg while detaining him.
Andrey Statov, another injured protester, says he was beaten by police after being detained on August 3 while peacefully standing among other protesters.
Both Kurgin and Statov say they plan to take part in a new protest scheduled for August 10, which was authorised by authorities.
(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Tatiana Gomozova, Lev Sergeev, Aleksandr Reshetnikov, Gennadiy Novik, Dmitry Turlyun)
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