Russia: activists arrested during Transparency International conference

(Moscow) Several activists of the Russian movement “United Democrats” were arrested Saturday in Kazan (Tatarstan) during a conference of the NGO Transparency International, announced on its Facebook page this movement which campaigns for pluralist elections.

France Media Agency

“The OMON (special forces, Editor's note) came to our premises in Kazan, where there was a conference, all were arrested to verify their involvement in terrorism”, explained on Facebook the movement “Democrats united ”, without giving further details.

According to a coordinator of the movement, Anastasia Bourakova, quoted by the Interfax news agency, around 20 people were arrested during a conference on municipal public procurement given by Transparency International.

“Around 14 minutes after the start of the conference […], a large number of riot police wearing masks and machine guns broke into the headquarters and arrested around 15, ”she said.

According to M me Bourakova, the speaker, activists and coordinators of the movement “United Democrats Were arrested and taken to the police station.

In the evening, all the male activists were released, while three women remain at the post including the lecturer of Transparency International Iékatérina Petrova, the latter told Interfax.

Launched in 2018, “United Democrats” is an association of independent municipal deputies campaigning for plurality in elections.

According to their website, they helped elect 139 independent deputies in St. Petersburg in September 2019.

According to Interfax, they plan to present candidates in four regions, including Tatarstan, in the municipal elections in September 2020.