Oleg Kozlovsky’s English Weblog

Politics, Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

Moscow Police: We Read Opposition Activists’ E-mails

with 3 comments

Earlier this week, two Oborona activists were arrested in Moscow and later released without explanation. Head of the Information Department (i.e. official spokesperson) of Moscow police Col. Viktor Biryukov claimed that it was done to prevent some illegal protest action. He also added proudly that “the police learnt about preparation of this action while reading e-mail communications between Oborona activists.”

It’s not a news that the police monitors communications of the opposition, but it must be the first time it was officially confirmed by a high-ranking police officer. Apart from being antidemocratic and unconstitutional, it also violates the law, which puts rather strict limitations on this kind of activities.

Besides, immediately after Oborona issued a statement on this case and promised to arrange investigation of illegal activities of the Moscow police, Biryukov denied his own words. He said, “the Moscow police only work strictly within the law, and in the case of Oborona activists, their correspondence haven’t been monitored.”

The arrested Oborona activists are going to file a complaint to a prosecutor to demand investigation into Biryukov’s claims.

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Written by Oleg Kozlovsky

September 2, 2010 at 23:17

3 Responses

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  1. What’s really outrageous about this is that they are arresting people for conspiracy to exercise constitutional rights in a peaceful manner. They are not even willing to let the demonstrators take up their positions, they are that paralyzed with fear of democratic power.

    Seems to indicate you are winning, Oleg.

    larussophobe

    September 3, 2010 at 04:30

  2. Russian police raid opposition magazine 02 Sep 2010 08:45:11 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    MOSCOW, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Russian police, some armed and masked, raided a prominent opposition magazine on Thursday as part of an unspecified investigation, the deputy editor of the magazine told Reuters.

    “About five, some in masks and some armed, came to the office to carry out what they called ‘investigative actions'”, said Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of the New Times, a weekly magazine.

    “We agreed with them to wait for the editor in chief, general director and the lawyers. They are still here,” he said.

    The New Times is one of Moscow’s few prominent opposition media outlets and has published exposes of high-level corruption.

    The weekly attracted international attention in April after a libel action was brought against it following publication of an investigative article about the much-feared riot police, called OMON.

    Police searched the magazine’s premises then, an action condemned by the media rights group Reporters Without Borders, which said it was illegal to conduct a search while an appeal by the New Times was waiting for a hearing. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, additional reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman, editing by Tim Pearce)

    Though I am sure most of your readers have seen this article, I decided to post it anyway. More of the same, more of the same, huh?

    sam r ogilvie

    September 3, 2010 at 04:52

  3. […] instance, Oleg Kozlovsky reports that Russian “law enforcement” officers are openly bragging about intercepting and reading […]


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