Memorial NGO seeks independent inquiry into Bolotnaya protests

The human rights center Memorial has called for an independent legal evaluation of the events that occurred in the Moscow Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012 and the trial of the people charged in the riots, which is now beginning.

"We believe it is extremely important to conduct an independent legal evaluation of the events that occurred in the Bolotnaya Square and the trial that is beginning now. In this regard, the human rights center Memorial declares its support of the international expert commission evaluating the events that occurred in Moscow on May 6, 2012," the human rights center said in a statement released on Thursday.

"We believe that experts from the international expert commission will conduct a balanced and objective analysis of the evidence and documents based on international law and the international conventions signed by Russia, which will enable Russian and international observers to draw their own conclusions," Memorial said.

Memorial said it intends to provide all possible support to this commission.

"We will closely follow the trial and the observance of the Russian legislation in it. Officials and members of the human rights center intend to visit the hearings of the Bolotnaya case and encourage others to do so. Personal testimonies given in court will give society a better idea not only about the trials, but also about the events that occurred in the Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012," the statement says.

Twenty-nine people were prosecuted in the Bolotnaya case and 18 of them are now in police custody, Memorial said.

"Measures of restraint are selected and extended in an ungrounded and illegal way. Investigations Committee officials immediately declared that the events were mass riots organized with money received from abroad. The subsequent actions taken by court officials and investigators show once again that the authorities' actions are politically motivated," Memorial said.

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