SARATOV, 20 Feb – RIA Novosti, Eduard Demyanets. The Leninsky District Court of Penza on Saturday arrested the head of the Communist Party faction in the City Duma, Alexander Smirnov, for seven days for organizing an uncoordinated action, Julian Kotov, First Secretary of the Penza City Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, told RIA Novosti.
The Penza regional committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation announced the arrest on Friday morning of Smirnov and another party member Ruslan Bakhteev. The report noted that the detainees could be related to the “event on February 23,” when a meeting with deputies was planned in Penza at one of the city's open areas. The regional headquarters of the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not comment on the message. Later, Kotova explained to RIA Novosti that four people were detained on Friday, they drew up protocols “for organizing, calling for an illegal action”, and by the evening they were released pending trial.
“He (Smirnov) was given seven days of arrest for organizing (an uncoordinated action),” the agency's interlocutor said, noting that after the court ruling was announced, the deputy was taken into custody in the courtroom.
As follows from the court ruling, a copy of which is at the disposal of RIA Novosti, the court found that Smirnov, in violation of Part 1 of Article 7 of the Federal Law of June 19, 2004 No. 54-FZ “On Meetings, Rallies, Demonstrations, Processions and Picketing”, organized a public the event by posting on his VKontakte page a call to participate in it without submitting a notification to the regional government and the city administration. It is explained that Smirnov's appeal contains the words “protest action at the Rostok monument on February 23”.
“In the court session, Smirnov did not admit guilt in committing an administrative offense, he explained that indeed on February 11, 2021 on his page on the vk.com website he posted information for his subscribers and friends about the event on February 23 … in the format of a meeting with him as with a deputy of the Penza City Duma, this message was not addressed to an indefinite circle of people, the event was declared as an all-Russian protest action, in connection with which he did not contact the Penza region government and the Penza administration with a question about the approval of this event, “the document says.
However, the court rejected the deputy's arguments. “Smirnov's arguments about posting information for a limited circle of users of the social network” VKontakte “are unfounded and are refuted by the protocol … according to which the user's page with the profile” Alexander Smirnov “is available for visiting by all registered users of the resource” VKontakte “. Given that posted by Smirnov information contains an indication of the holding of a protest action, the arguments of the person brought to administrative responsibility that the event he declared is a meeting with the deputy … are untenable, “the court said.
Kotova clarified that in addition to Smirnov, the courts in Penza considered protocols in relation to two more members of the Communist Party, who were detained on Friday.
According to Kotova, the Pervomaisky District Court of the city on Saturday fined the coordinator of the Left Front in the Volga Federal District, a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Sergei Padalkin 10 thousand rubles for organizing an uncoordinated action, protocols against Bakhteev for organizing and calling for the action on February 23 and allegedly participating in the action On January 23, the Oktyabrsky District Court of the city sent it back for revision.