GOLOS correspondents were attacked in Zheleznodorozhny TEC

04 марта 2012 г.

On 4 March, GOLOS correspondents were removed from polling station # 530 in the Moscow oblast city of Zheleznodorozhny. They were then assaulted while attempting to file a complaint with the Territorial Electoral Commission (TEC.)

Commission members had obstructed the work of observers since the opening of the polling station. In particular, they relegated observers for presidential candidate Prokhorov to a clearly defined space, and prohibited them from freely moving around the polling station. The requirement was accompanied by verbal threats. GOLOS correspondents in the polling station recorded these violations of the rights of observers. The commission ultimately issued a questionable decision in written form without any specific legal references, and the Prokhorov observers were removed from the polling station.

A commission member with decisive voting rights was also removed from the polling station by way of a collective decision of the commission. This is in clear violation of the law, as Precinct Electoral Commissions (PEC) lack the authority to make such decisions. The member that was removed went to the TEC to file a complaint on the basis of the decision.

GOLOS correspondents recorded the events at the polling station. Police officers repeatedly demanded that they stop filming and threatened to arrest the correspondents. As a result, the correspondents were also removed from the polling station. Afterwards, they attempted to file a complaint with the TEC. Security officials employed by the regional administration refused to allow either the GOLOS correspondents or the Prokhorov observers into the territorial commission. The correspondents and observers remained in the lobby of the administration.

After some time had passed, a group of individuals dressed in civilian clothes burst into the building. Present among them was a man who had been seen earlier passing through the TEC security checkpoint without issue. These individuals forced the Prokhorov observers into a car and drove them to an unknown location. The GOLOS correspondents were thrown out of the TEC building. They suffered physical injuries and their camera was stolen.

It was discovered later that the Prokhorov observers were beaten and then abandoned on a country road outside of Zheleznodorozhny city.