Between October 2017 and February 2018, the Russian security services tortured several Russian anarchists and anti-fascists as part of an investigation into alleged terrorism offences. As a result, eleven people in St Petersburg and Penza have been arrested and charged in the “Network” case. They are being detained awaiting trial in 2019. [There will be demonstrations to support them on Saturday 19 January (details at the end of the article).] Those tortured have spoken out about their treatment – Viktor Filinkov did so here, and others did via the rupression web site. This article by Tatyana Likhanova explains the reaction by the Russian security services and other officials. It reports on investigations into the defendants’ claims of torture by the Russian Investigative Committee, the St Petersburg Public Monitoring Commission, and the defendants’ lawyers. It was published in Novaya Gazeta, the main liberal opposition newspaper, on 16 December 2018, and also published in English in Freedom News.
“Federal Security Service [FSB] officers don’t work in those minibuses. They aren’t there. Physically.” This is how Russian president Vladimir Putin reacted to a statement by Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, that defendants in the “Network” case claim they were
subjected to electric shock torture in state security service minibuses. But Putin admitted that what Fedotov had said was “really disturbing” and “that it’s absolutely impermissible”, and promised to “look into it”.
Let’s note straight away: only St Petersburg victims of the “Network” case — Viktor Filinkov; Ilya Kapustin, who was questioned about the case as a witness; and Arman Sagynbaev, who was transferred from St Petersburg to Penza after Read the rest of this entry »