Violetta Grudina was detained for staging this one-person picket in support of Alexey Navalny on the central square of Murmansk. Photo: Navalny's Murmansk office

Violetta detained in Murmansk for single-person picket in support of Navalny

Violetta Grudina was standing peacefully alone on the Five Corner square downtown Murmansk, holding a placard asking for the crime against Alexey Navalny to be thoroughly investigated.
August 20, 2020

Grudina is coordinator of Navalny’s regional office in Murmansk. She is now charged for violating article 20.2 of Russia’s Administrative Code, a tweet from the group informs. The paragraph is known as the “protest article” widely used to suppress public protests.

Opposition politician and anti-corruption fighter Alexey Navalny was in a coma at the hospital in Omsk Thursday, as he fell ill while onboard a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. The plane made a medical emergency landing in Omsk where Navalny was rushed to the hospital.

His spokesperson Kira Yarmysh, who was together with Navalny all morning and sitting next to him on the plane, said in a tweet she assumes he was poisoned with something mixed into the tea.

In Murmansk, Violetta Grudina was taken to the Oktyabrsky police station.

Thursday evening, the Navalny office in Murmansk informs about Grudina being taken to a detention center where she will be held overnight awaiting trial on Friday. The staff at the office claim it is illegal to keep her detained for more than 3 hours. Violetta has a child at home. 

Russian law allows for single-person pickets without asking for official permission. One-person pickets have become common across Russia after laws on unauthorized rallies were tightened following the 2011-2013 anti-government rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Violetta Grudina has also previously been in trouble with local police for participating in protests. In 2018, she was fined 150,000 rubles (€2,000) for her role in organizing a protest rally ahead of the inauguration of Vladimir Putin, The Barents Observer reported. Alexey Navalny visited Murmansk in 2017 where he drew hundreds of youth to the Leningradsky square in the Park of Victims of Intervention.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT