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Russian Football Fan Sues Police for Allegedly Ordering Her to Take Off Panties

Spartak Moscow fans watch their team play Rubin Kazan at the Kazan Arena.

A young woman who was reportedly ordered to take off her clothes and remove her underwear as a security precaution before entering a Kazan football arena is suing the Tatarstan police for 105,000 rubles ($2,200), legal news agency RAPSI reported Thursday.

Ahead of an Aug. 1 match between football teams Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow, several female fans were allegedly subjected to full body searches upon entering the venue. The women were reportedly ordered to take off their underwear as part of the procedure.

Yekaterina Stepanova, a Spartak fan who refused to consent to the search, is now suing the Tatarstan police for abuse of power, RAPSI reported.

Because of her refusal to get naked, she was detained for an hour and a half before eventually being permitted to enter the stadium, Stepanova wrote in her LiveJournal blog.

"The actions of police officers toward me were unlawful, violated my person and my dignity, and crudely violated my constitutional rights, the federal police law and the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation," Stepanova wrote in a letter that she addressed to Russia's interior minister, prosecutor general and the head of the Russian Premier League, and uploaded to her blog on Aug. 5, shortly after the incident occurred.

The Tatarstan police force maintained that the searches were conducted within the limits of the law, and that only fans suspected of smuggling illegal substances into the Kazan Arena — one of the fields set to host World Cup matches in 2018 — were searched more extensively.

In a blog post from early August, Stepanova insisted that "only girls" had been targeted by the invasive searches. She also claimed that one week after the incident, 15 women had filed complaints to Spartak Moscow and the Russian Premier League that in turn were submitted to Russia's Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General's Office.

Contact the author at g.tetraultfarber@imedia.ru

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