Communist Party (KPRF) leader Gennady Zyuganov wrote an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin protesting the detention of KPRF members following rallies in Moscow on September 20 and 25.
In the letter, the KPRF leader condemns the arrests as baseless and illegal, arguing that the “order-givers and perpetrators of these and a number of other illegal actions are guided not by the provisions of the law and the interests of public safety, but by poorly understood political expediency.”
Zyuganov also criticizes the online voting and three-day voting period in the State Duma elections, comparing these practices to “a bomb that may sooner or later blow up stability in society.”
“Instead of establishing a constructive dialogue with the ruling parliamentary party, administrative pressure on the KPRF is increasing, and the incidents of police persecution of its activists and supporters are multiplying. The unjustified cruelty and scope of these violent attacks are growing before our eyes.”
Finally, the KPRF leader asks Putin to “take strict measures aimed at bringing officials guilty of exceeding their powers to justice.”
After the elections to the State Duma, on September 20 and 25, the Communist Party announced “meetings with voters” in downtown Moscow — a type of public gathering that doesn’t require permission from the authorities. There were no arrests at the rallies themselves, however, police officials made visits to the homes of participants and drew up misdemeanor charges after the fact.
Earlier in the day on Monday, a Moscow court fined Ekaterina Engalycheva, a municipal deputy from the KPRF, 250,000 rubles ($3,450) for repeatedly violating the procedure for organizing mass events. According to Engalycheva, she was fined for sharing a social media post by Moscow party boss Valery Rashkin about the KPRF rally on September 20. Engalycheva also said she’s facing charges in connection with the KPRF rally that took place on September 25, but this hearing was postponed until October 11.
Following the State Duma elections, the Communist Party accused the authorities of falsifying the online voting results in Moscow. This came after KPRF candidates lost the elections in the capital’s single-mandate constituencies after the online ballots were tallied. According to the paper ballot count, KPRF candidates appeared to be leading by a wide margin.
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