A Moscow district court has arrested the coordinator of Russian voter rights movement Vladimir Egorov for 15 days for “failing to comply with police orders”, independent media outlet Mediazona reported on Thursday.
According to Mediazona, Egorov didn’t agree with the drawn up protocol, saying that the case files do not state clearly which orders he had not complied with. According to the police, Egorov “did not comply with legal police demands”, “physically resisted [the arrest]”, and “pushed police officers away”. In the morning, his home, as well as the homes of many Golos employees, was searched.
Earlier today, a criminal case on spreading “fake news” about the Russian army was opened against the chair of the Chelyabinsk Golos branch Natalia Guseva. Her home was also searched. The case against her is based on her social media posts about Russian hostilities in Ukraine’s cities of Mariupol and Kharkiv.
The co-chair of Russian voters rights movement Golos Grigory Melkonyants was detained by law enforcement this morning. According to the latest available information, he is considered a suspect in a case on collaboration with an “undesirable organisation”. The homes of Melkonyants and at least 14 of his associates, located in eight different regions of Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, were raided by law enforcement.
The co-chair of Golos Stanislav Andreychuk told TV Rain that mass searches are connected to the work of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO). The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office declared ENEMO an “undesirable” organisation on 27 September 2021. Shortly after, Golos suspended its involvement in the organisation.
In 2021, Golos was declared a “foreign agent” by the Russian authorities. Golos is a Russian organisation, independent of the government, the mission of which is public observation of elections. According to the movement’s website, “Golos trains observers, supports the work of the federal hotline and online services, provides voters with legal assistance, participates in the improvement of the electoral system, and conducts short-term and long-term observation of elections.”
Under Russian law, “undesirable” organisations are foreign or international non-governmental organisations that pose a threat to the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, the country’s defence capability, and national security.