04 Mar 2011, 12:25

On March 3 in St. Petersburg around 5 p.m. three activists of the art group Voina - Leonid Nikolayev, Oleg Vorotnikov, and Natalya Sokol - have been attacked and severely beaten by seven plainclothes policemen. The attackers reportedly shouted that they were from the city’s criminal investigation department.

Vorotnikov and Nikolayev held a press conference earlier on March 3 in which they told journalists about the poor conditions they faced in Moscow’s pretrial detention center.

As a result Oleg Vorotnikov received bruises, Natalia Sokol got a serious hand injury, Leonid Nikolayev - a head injury.  A 2-year-old Kasper also suffered.

Fragment from Oleg Vorotnikov’s story:

When we left the press conference in the Ligovsky prospect, we noticed that we were followed by a group of typical thugs. We observed that those were clearly anti-extremism officers… One police officer attacked Lenya from behind. They waved their IDs but we couldn’t examine them. They pushed baby pram away and hit Kasper against his face causing a bruise on his left chick. Two others knocked Kozlyenok down into the paddle and started kicking her. They injured her hand very seriously. I managed to free myself from the officers who were holding me and covered Kozlyenok with my body. The blows rained against my back and head. Kozlyenok’s face was already bashed. What’s more when they dragged her by hair, they pulled out one of her braids. The officers were trying to take away a camera from her. But she held it tightly. Activist Lyubka seized one of the officers and he bit her hand…

The police officers managed to confiscate a camera memory card. The artists were delivered to the traumatology station.