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Russian Activists Launch Database to Profile Police Brutality

Yevgeny Stepanov / TASS

A group of Russian activists has launched an online campaign to identify law-enforcement officers involved in a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters earlier this month.

On Sept. 9, police detained hundreds of people across the country at protests against government plans to raise the retirement age. Police were filmed beating participants, including minors, with batons and dragging them away to be detained.

The “Beware of Them” activists’ group launched a crowdsourcing campaign after the protests asking the public for help in finding “the sadists who are ready to beat their fellow citizens for money and [early] retirement.”

“Our main task now is to gather information about what happened before, during and after Sept. 9,” Anton Gromov, one of the group’s coordinators, told the MBKh Media news website on Wednesday.

He said the group would compile a database of police, National Guard, FSB, as well as plainclothes officers who were witnessed carrying out the violent detentions.

“We want the country to know these public enemies,” Gromov was quoted as saying.

The “Beware of Them” group was first launched after men dressed as Cossacks were witnessed lashing people protesting President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration on May 5.

One of the group’s founders told The Moscow Times in May that the group was working to identify the perpetrators of the violence.

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