Alexey Sutuga, anarchist, anti-fascist and member of Autonomous Action, was arrested on Tuesday evening, April 17, in Moscow. The arrest took place during a fundraising effort in support of anti-fascist prisoners.
It was learned almost after a day after the arrest that Alexey is now in Remand Prison No. 2, also known as Butyrka Prison.
The police accuse him of the same crime as anti-fascist *Alexey Olesinov, who has already been in custody for a month — complicity in the incident at the Moscow club Vozdukh, on December 17, 2011, when neo-Nazis working security attacked concert goers and then blamed anti-fascists for this assault.
Voluntary donations for the support of anti-fascists in detention, particularly Alexey Olesinov and Igor Kharchenko, were collected in downtown Moscow on April 17. The event was organized by activists of the anti-racist human rights initiative Direct Help. About fifteen people, including Alexey Sutuga, showed up for the event. Two police officers approached the group at 8:30 p.m., according to witnesses. They identified themselves and asked why there were so much garbage around the bench where everyone was gathered.
The police then asked everyone present to show their documents. When people refused to show them, two plain clothes officers appeared instantly out of nowhere, followed shortly by five or six of their colleagues.
One of them presented his ID, muttered something to the effect of “Criminal Investigation Department, guys,” and said, “Get him!” Police officers obeyed him, grabbing Alexey and leading him off towards the highway.
The plain clothes officers immediately followed them, no longer paying any attention to the rest of the crowd, although they had promised to arrest all those who had no documents and take them to a police station. Among those who arrested Alexey was the well-known Moscow FSB agent Yevgeny Platov, better known as “Zhenya the FSB Guy.” (You can read more about him and his persecution of Moscow anarchists here, in Russian: http://avtonom.org/news/feisy-vs-anarkhisty-kak-boitsy-nevidimogo-foront…)
It’s worth noting that a group of anarchists, including Alexey, had been detained a week earlier by the same plain clothes officers, but were released without charges.
Sutuga’s family and friends did not know of his whereabouts for almost twenty-four hours: he didn’t answer his phone. Information about his whereabouts was only released on the evening of April 18. It was reported that he is in Butyrka Prison and, apparently, Basmanny District Court quickly sanctioned his pretrial detention.
He has been charged with “hooliganism” (Article 213, Part 2 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code). The press service of the Moscow police reported that Alexey Sutuga has been charged in connection with the same case as Alexey Olesinov.
Recently, it became known that police are attempting to fabricate a second criminal case against Olesinov. On April 17, police confronted him with a young man who claims to have been attacked by Alexey on December 4, 2011, although on this day Olesinov was posting articles on the Internet. (For more details, in Russian, see: http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/26512/index.php.)
As a member of Autonomous Action has explained, “The case against the well-known anti-fascist Alexey Olesinov, now remanded, has been investigated for several months and is now collapsing. It seems that the human rights campaign in support of Olesinov has begun to irritate the police. If they had something on Sutuga, they would have followed the legal procedures for this case. And it turns out that they have just arrested a person and held him incommunicado for almost a whole day. It looks as if the police have wild imaginations.”
For more information about the incident at the Vozdukh club, see:
For information about persecution of other anarchists and anti-fascists in Moscow, see:
http://anarcho-news.info/news-534 (in Russian)
Funds are urgently needed to defray Sutuga’s legal expenses. You may donate through Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow. Instructions are available here:
Editor’s note. This appeal was originally published, in English, on the Autonomous Action web site. It has been slightly edited to make it more readable.