Moscow: Communist leader jailed for leafleting on Victory Day is freed

On judicial arbitrariness in Russia

On May 16, 2017, Alexander Batov, first secretary of the Moscow organization of the Russian United Labor Front (ROT Front), was released after seven days under arrest.

Comrade Alexander Batov (left) with supporters after his release.
Photo: ROT Front
Immediately after his release, the Court of Appeal held that, despite the efforts of Batov’s defense, the requirements for an appeal of his case were not satisfied. The defense motion to call witnesses from the prosecution, request to follow official protocols, and request for the prosecution to produce direct evidence against his client, were rejected by the court.

During his arrest, while in detention, and at the judicial review in the lower court, Batov was subjected to a wide range of violations, including by staff and senior officials of the prosecution and the Interior Ministry. Judge A.N. Lashkov behaved indifferently in the case, often interrupted the defense speech, talked about something with the bailiff, yawned and looked very disinterested. After 15 minutes, during which the Court ruled, a long but absolutely generic protocol to reject the appeal was “prepared and published.”

After the hearing, the leader of the Moscow organization of ROT Front gave his first comment since the arrest:

Recall that on May 9 at the “Immortal Regiment” rally, two activists of the ROT Front, A. Batov and R. Osin, were detained in Moscow for the distribution of agitational material exposing the class nature of Victory Day [in the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against fascism].

Osin was soon released, while a lower court sentenced Batov to seven days of administrative arrest on a false charge of “disobedience to lawful demands of a police officer.” The police and judicial actions were carried out in gross violations of Russian law.

Similar illegal actions were taken against communists in other regions. The most egregious example was the detention of P. Tipakova (head of the Nizhny Novgorod branch of ROT Front) at the eternal flame. He was sentenced to 10 days of administrative arrest.

Press Service of the ROT Front

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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