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Home > IV Online magazine > 2007 > IV391 - July-August 2007 > Socialist activist arrested in Saratov


Socialist activist arrested in Saratov

Solidarity needed!

Monday 9 July 2007, by ‘VPERED

In the evening of 5th July Sergei Vilkov, activist of the Russian socialist movement ‘VPERED’, was taken into custody. This action of the local police results quite logically from their recent unprecedented campaign of pressure against the members of the movement in Saratov.

Constant surveillance, illegal arrests, threats and promises to ‘close down’ the movement — all this has come to be a normal practice of the local police against the members of the movement. We consider Sergei’s arrest as a conscious provocation, which the local bureaucrats needed to fill in their reports on the ‘fight against extremism’.

Here is a brief account from our comrade about Sergei’s arrest:

On the 5th of July in Saratov a provocative act led to the arrest of an activist of the socialist movement ‘VPERED’ Sergei Vilkov. When he was going home, he was seized by policemen and, after a search, a gun with 8 bullets was ‘discovered’. When I came to the local police department, after a call from an investigator, with a change of clothes for Sergey I was told rudely that I wouldn’t get answers to my (quite reasonable) questions and, shortly afterwards, that I had ‘to get a move on home’ because they’re gonna ‘come there with a search’.

At the moment Sergei is out of prison, but restricted to Saratov.

Apparently local police officers may be working out right now what case they’re going to frame up against him. That’s why he needs your solidarity right now, for what has happened to him yesterday may happen to every political activist tomorrow. Therefore we must act together to make sure this disgraceful and false "case" falls apart before it even gets to court.

The actions of Saratov police have to receive the widest possible publicity. We’re calling on journalists and all who have any access to mass media to connect to our website and try to publish this information as widely as possible.

We’re calling on all leftists, working class activists, and human rights activists to call and fax protests to the following numbers:

Saratov Department of Internal Affairs:
Officer on duty:
+7(8452) 51-1222;
+7(8452) 26-1578
Head of the department:
+7(8452) 26-2824;
+7(8452) 26-4719;
+7(8452) 26-4927

Saratov Public Prosecutions Department:
+7(8452) 78-3418;
+7(8452) 78-3417
Deputy prosecutor:
+7(8452) 78-3421

Saratov City Administration: Office:
+7(8452) 26-1877 (Tel./Fax)

We call all left and progressive forces outside Russia to organize actions of protest in front of the Russian embassy buildings in their countries.

We also ask everyone who can give financial support (to pay a lawyer) to get in touch with the editors of the site:

No to repressions, yes to solidarity!