7 December 2015
By Zoya Svetova
Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Open Russia]
This is an extract from Zoya Svetova, 'Ildar Dadin: «Rossiya dolzhna byt' svobodnoi. Ya ne uveren, chto budet, no dolzhna,' Otkrytaya Rossiya, 7 December 2015
Political activist Ildar Dadin has been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by Judge Natalya Dudar of the Basmanny district court under the new law on protests and marches. It was an unusual case: the judge imposed a longer sentence than the two years in prison requested by the prosecutor.
Ildar Dadin became the first person to be sentenced under article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – “repeat violations of the established order of organizing or carrying out gatherings, rallies, demonstrations, marches or picketing”. The same charges have also been brought against political activists Vladimir Ionov and Mark Galperin.
Dadin was under house arrest for 10 months, which will be offset against the sentence handed down by the Basmanny court. Judge Natalya Dudar is included in the “Aleksanyan list” – she issued a ruling that extended his pre-trial detention when he was terminally ill.
In January 2015, before Ildar Darin was found guilty under article 212.1, he told Open Russia how he became a civic activist.
“I didn’t even know until the end of 2011 that there was a protest movement in Russia, that there is this mayhem of which I learnt later. I found out about it when I saw the enormous falsifications in the elections at the end of 2011. I knew that I hadn’t voted for United Russia, I knew that my relatives didn’t vote for United Russia, my friends and my colleagues didn’t vote for them, but on the television United Russia won the election. After that I started to become interested in what actually happened. […]
"Ideally, what would I want from life? I would want to work in order to have the possibility to start a family, support it and live peacefully.
"I like what is written in the police oath: 'I swear to defend the law and the citizens.' Protect not officials, nor your boss, but citizens and the law of Russia. I would happily go and work for that police.
"I have a dream: if we managed to build a state based on the rule of law in Russia, then I would want to work for the police. I like what is written in the police officer’s vow: ‘I swear to protect the law and citizens’. Not to protect officials, not to protect one’s own boss, but the citizens and the law of Russia. I would want to work in a police force like that.
"Anybody who is interested in my opinion, pass on this message: 'Russia should be free. I am not sure that it will be, but it should be'.”
Zoya Zvetova is a journalist, member of the Moscow public monitoring committee, and laureate of the Moscow Helsinki Group human rights prize
Translated by Jo Anston