A Moscow court has ordered five suspects in the criminal case into “mass unrest” over last weekend’s opposition protests to be kept in custody until Sept. 27.
Alexei Minyaylo, Ivan Podkopayev, Samariddin Radzhabov, Kirill Zhukov and Yegor Zhukov were among 10 people detained on suspicion of “organizing and conducting mass riots” last Saturday. Police had detained, then released, more than 1,300 people marching through central Moscow in support of allowing opposition-minded candidates on the ballot for upcoming Moscow City Duma elections.
Moscow’s Presnensky district court ruled in quick succession to keep Minaylo, Podkopayev, Radzhabov and Kirill Zhukov in pre-trial detention until Sept. 27, Interfax reported Friday.
Yegor Zhukov was sentenced later Friday evening to remain in pre-trial detention until Sept. 27, the independent Mediazona news website reported.
All five have denied the charges of organizing mass riots, which carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Radzhabov is accused of throwing a plastic bottle at a police officer, Podkopayev of bringing a knife and hammer in his backpack and Kirill Zhukov of lifting up a policeman’s helmet visor, according to the independent Meduza news website.
Minyaylo maintained that he had not taken part in the protests on Saturday, saying “law enforcement officers detained me before I got there.”
Kirill Zhukov, who had reportedly served in the Russian National Guard, declared a hunger strike while in custody. He joins the ranks of rejected Moscow City Duma candidates Ivan Zhdanov, who declared a hunger strike on Friday, and Lyubov Sobol, who has been going without food for three weeks.
Minyaylo has also started a hunger strike, Sobol told the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper Friday.