Bekannter russischer Antifaschist, Alexey Gaskarov verhaftet – Bitte um Solidarität! (Wilfried Hanser)

On sunday, the 28th of April 2013, a well-known Russian anti-fascist, Alexey Gaskarov, was arrested in Moscow. He is a member of the Coordination Council of Russian opposition. The investigation committee of the Russian Federation has accused him of having pacticipated in riots and violence against representative of authorities on the 6th of May 2012, when OMON (Russian riot police) attacked a peaceful demonstration.

The 6th of May was one day prior to Putin’s inauguration, and a mass demonstration had been called by the opposition. The winter and spring of 2011-2012 saw the biggest wave of political demonstrations in Russia in almost 20 years, as tens of thousands of people went out on the streets to protest election fraud. The 6th of May was also the first time authorities moved to crush these protests. According to the opposition more than 600 people were arrested, and as of now 28 people have been charged, who have been remanded, been put under house arrest or have been forced to emigrate.

On that day, Alexey Gaskarov was beaten up by OMON with batons and boots. He filed a complaint against the officers who beat him up, but nobody was charged. Now, a year after, and just a few days before the anniversary of the 6th of May demonstration, as Alexey was about to be at the head of the column of the left-wing and anti-fascist bloc, he has had a set of absurd charges brought against him and has been arrested.

Alexey Gaskarov was born on the 18th of June 1985, and has been politically active since his school years.

Gaskarov gained fame in the summer and autumn of 2010, when during the protest campaign against the destruction of the Khimki forest, he was arrested along with Maxim Solopov and was accused of orchestrating an attack by 300-400 young anti-fascists, who supported the environmental struggle, against the administration of the city of Khimki. In autumn 2010, Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov were released from prison, thanks to a massive international campaign for the „Khimki Hostages“. In the summer of 2011, Gaskarov was cleared of all charges.

Since the beginning of the mass demonstrations against the falsification of the elections in Russia in December of 2011, Alexey Gaskarov has been an active participant. He was one of the speakers in the biggest of the demonstrations, on the 24th of December 2011 in Sakharov street in Moscow, and was in charge of the security for that meeting, who fought back against the Neo-Nazi provocations.

He is being held in the police jail of Petrovka 38, awaiting his appointment in court at 11am on the 29th of April 2013 at the Basmanniy courthouse in Moscow. Pending court decision, Gaskarov will be remanded or released.

Additional information:
Lawyer of Gaskarov, Svetlana Sidorkina: +7 (926) 557-90-16

Bio (not corrected yet)

Leader of the Russian anti-fascists arrested
Background of Alexey Gaskarov
Since 2006, Alexey was a worker in „Institute of Collective Action“, which is a reasearch group of social movements, and according to his own words, during this period „he was involved in support and coordination of Russian social movements. With other activists, we managed to reach (…) victories both locally and on federal level, including corrections to Housing and Labor codex, withdrawal of most outrageous parts of the law of monetarization of social benefits, re-evaluation of various environmentally harmful development projects“.

As written by Alexey in his short autobiography, which he wrote last autumn in prior to elections of „Coordination council of Russian opposition“ (he was elected there from left list in Autumn of 2012). „I am listed in a number of police records of „extremists“ as one of the leaders of the so-called „Antifa“. Due to this, I spent three months in a remand prison in autumn of 2010, accused of having organised an attack against administration of the city of Khimki, but in court I was cleared of all charges“.

In autumn of 2010, Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov were released from prison, thanks to a massive international campaign for „Khimki Hostages“. In summer of 2011, Gaskarov was cleared of all charges. Since then he has only became more known, due to his active participation to alternative projects of urban development in his hometown Zhukovsky of Moscow region (which was in the past one of the main hub of Soviet airplane construction, and nowadays a stronghold of anti-Putin opposition).

All of these factors helped Gaskarov to join Coordination Council of Russian opposition, and made him one of the figures most hated b Russian authorities and a potential target of repressions from Investigation Committee of Russian Federation, who is following orders directly from top of the state structure to criminalise and crush political opposition.

Investigation and arrests related to „Bolotnaya case“ are based on testimony of the police officers, and to two anonymous witnesses, as pointed out by lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina. Investigation committee also claims that there are videos proving that Alexey is guilty. Currently Alexey is charged according to statutes 212.2 (participation to riot) and 318 (violence against government official) of the Russian criminal codex.

 Wilfried Hanser

Tel. 0680/ 402 99 71