New arrest of Kostenko possible

On January 4th, at 11.30 the Vasileostrovsky district court will consider the continuation of arrest of Filipp Kostenko, public and human rights activist. This time Kostenko is accused in waste of the “People’s front”’s poster (article 214 p. 2 of Criminal Code of Russia – “vandalism”). It showed the negative attitude towards the authorities’ activities during the pre-electoral campaign.

Filipp is due to be released on January 5th after 30 days of administrative arrest, but continuation of detention is possible as a preventive measure on a criminal case.

On December 6th, 2011, Filipp Kotenko and many others were arrested during mass protests against electoral fraud. Filipp was sentenced to a maximum administrative punishment – 15 days of detention. Filipp used the only means of fight against illegal repressions in the conditions of detention – he went on hunger-strike demanding release of all people arrested during the protests. While Filipp being in detention, the employees of the E centre brought up another case: in October 2011, Filipp was detained at the police station where he wanted to give food to arrested friends and accused in “swearing in public”.

The activist left the detention centre in a police car which transferred sick after hunger-strike young man to a police station where he spent a night waiting for the trial. He received another maximum punishment of 15 day of imprisonment. In fact, the court just prolonged the arrest after the workers of the E centre said that. Now Filipp might receive one more sentence for “vandalism”.

We demand the release of Kostenko and withdrawal of all charges! We call upon the people, Media and civil society’s institutions to join in fighting for the release of Filipp Kostenko and other political prisoners: protest is not a crime!


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