Some of those detained at the 12 June anti-corruption rally in St Petersburg have revealed how police officers at Police Station 33 released pepper spray into the cells and refused to let people out. After our publication, the Petersburg police department confirmed that police officers had in fact used pepper gas at Station 33. The activists described how they began to feel unwell and to suffocate. Police officers refused to provide medical assistance, saying that it would “pass off”. However, they then moved the detainees into the basement cells, where they were held overnight.
One person detained at the rally on 12 June was held for five hours in a temporary holding cell to await the court hearing in his case. According to the detainee’s lawyer, the room described by his client was very similar to premises at Moscow City Court in which, in the words of people under investigation who have been held there, torture is carried out. As Mediazona writes, in these premises a number of rings are fixed to the walls that would presumably be used to attach one hand of a detainee by means of handcuffs. However, in fact, those held there, whether already charged or under investigation, say that the rings are used for torture. A person is attached to the rings and then beaten, or is left attached to the rings for a whole day.