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Alexander Margolin

Year of birth: 1971

Charge: Participation in mass disorder and use of violence against  authorities; sentenced to 3 years 6 months

Currently imprisoned in: Prison colony

Lawyer: Anna Polozova  +7 (926) 22230−63 polozova_anna@mail.ru



Alexander Margolin is one of 27 people who are currently on trial because of their involvement in the mass demonstration on 6th of May 2012. On that date, immediately before President Putin's inauguration, about 100,000-120,000 people took part in a peaceful protest in Moscow. The police suddenly blocked the way to Bolotnaya (Swamp) Square where the SANCTIONED march was to terminate thus provoking a clash with the protesters. Then the police announced the demonstration was cancelled and immediately attacked the protesters, beginning to disperse them with the aid of batons and tear gas. As a result, approximately 600 people were arrested on the spot, hundreds were injured. Criminal charges were initiated not against the unlawful police officers but against the lawful protesters for participating in mass disorder and acts of violence. 27 people were selected by the authorities to serve as examples in a theatre of show-case prosecutions.

Alexander Margolin, a graduate of the State University of Printing and vice-director of a Moscow publishing house, had not been interested in politics up until 2011. Since then he has participated in a number of non-violent protests and on one occasion was arrested and detained (together with other participants) for 10 days and then released because no guilt was found. According to the plentiful witnesses on the 6th of May Margolin was far from the epicenter of the clash between the demonstrates and police. He was detained long after the event, on 20th of February 2013, brought to the court "as a witness" and then jailed as a suspect (a common tactic). It is noteworthy that a week before his arrest the police visited his parents in their apartment where Margolin was registered (it is compulsory for the Russian citizens to be registered or "assigned" to a property). The fact that Margolin did not live there was later used as a ground for his detention, to prevent his possible "running away from justice". His reasoning that he did not hide anywhere ever since 6 of May but was living in his own apartment and worked as usual was ignored by the judge. The arrest of Margolin caused significant financial difficulties for his family (he was supporting his wife, their two young daughters, and his disabled mother) so his wife Helen decided to sell their two cars. However, the court promptly confiscated the cars.

Margolin's wife of nineteen years characterizes him as "a very good husband and caring father". The court routinely refuses the repeated requests of Margolin's lawyer to allow her and their children to visit him or release him on a bail on the grounds of the seriousness of the accusation of using violence against police. The judge maintains that there is evidence of this act somewhere but it has not been shown to the defendant.