New court date set for 18 July – protests needed!
Today’s (Friday 14 July) court case in St Petersburg against CWI comrade, Victoria Gromova, CWI sympathiser, Natalia Zvyagina, and several other activists, was postponed until 18 July. The court made this ruling after the police, who we understand brought charges against the accused of holding an “unsanctioned demonstration”, failed to attend the hearing.
Victoria, Natalia, and the other protesters, were held in a St Petersburg police station earlier this week, following their arrest during a small protest against nuclear waste dumping in Russia. Victoria and Natalia went to Petersburg to work as part of a Legal Team established to provide legal advice and assistance to protesters attending the Russian Social Forum, held during the G8 Summit.
It is possible the court proceedings against the protesters will be postponed again and the hearing dragged out, without any sentence being passed. The authorities may feel they have achieved their aim of disrupting protesters attending the G8 Summit, which ends tomorrow. They also have come under pressure from international protests.
But it is also possible that Victoria, Natalia and the others could be found ‘guilty’ by the court and given a 7-day prison sentence.
We encourage readers to continue making protests to Russian embassies and consulates in the run-up to 18 July court hearing.