Alexei Gaskarov

Year of birth: 1985

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

Currently imprisoned in: Prison colony

Lawyers: Svetlana Sidorkina +7 (926) 55790−16
Dmitry Dinze  +7 (911) 92942−99 

Alexei Gaskarov 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.

Alexei Gaskarov's case is a farce which demonstrates that the facts are completely irrelevant for the outcome. Gaskarov was beaten up during the demonstration after he attempted to stop, by means of the words "What are you doing?", the soldiers of OMON (a 'special' unit) who were dragging another demonstrator along the concrete. The soldiers beat Gaskarov with their batons and kicked him in his face so he suffered several bloody wounds; the episode was recorded on video. His injuries were documented in the hospital where he was treated. He lodged a formal complaint on 28th May 2012. He was arrested on 28th of April 2013. Needless to say those who beat him up are free.

Alexei Gaskarov's charge is based on the statements of two "secret witnesses". During the process another "witness" confessed that the 'Anti-extremist Centre' (state government organization) pressed him hard to make a false statement against Gaskarov. Gaskarov and his lawyers are convinced that they want to imprison him "by any means" because of his political activity. Gaskarov is an ecological activist, antifascist, the leader of the social antifascist movement 'Atifa' and a member of the Coordinating Counsel of the opposition. In 2007 he finished the State Government Academy of Finances and worked as a consultant. As an opposition leader he is especially well known for his defense of endangered forests in the Moscow area. After one of such action he was arrested, detained, accused of conducting acts of violence but let out because the prosecution could not find any evidence to convict him.