The police government of the Moscow region must resign because of lawlessness in Khimki

Feature story - 8 May, 2011
Instead of performing their direct security duties the police of Khimki are managing lawless affairs — arresting and beating the intelligent and law-abiding defenders of the Khimki forest.

Hereby the crimes being committed to the defenders of the forest — from beating and robbery to killing and attempting on one’s life — have been uninvestigated for some years already. The urban district of Khimki became an area, where the civil activists have to fear for their safety and freedom, safety of their children and relatives every day. The police do not defend the activists and their families against crimes but put obstacles in the way of their public activities.

On the 8th of May 2011 the Khimki forest defenders, the representatives of the pressure group of the Moscow area citizens fighting for forest preservation and leading Russian nongovernmental environmental organization peacefully met at the Khimki station in order to go to the forest where on the eve the illegal deforestation had taken place. The right of peaceful meeting is guaranteed in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Some other specific events which are regulated by the special federal law dated June 19, 2004 No. 54-ФЗ (FZ) dated June 19, 2004, were not held by the defenders, so there were not any violation against the current legislation. Unexpectedly the police brigade attacked the citizens and using rude and invalid official violence arrested 20 people and took them to the Department of Internal Affairs No. 2 of Khimki. In two hours the arrested could connect with their friends who avoided police capture and informed on the lawlessness in the police department as they were refused to provide a lawyer.

In such a way the police are trying to suffocate the activists’ opposition to the illegal building of the speed highway Moscow-St.-Petersburg via the Khimki forest.

The building of the highway via the forest is the result of law nihilism of the Russian government as according to the existing legislation it is not possible to build a road coming through a forest. The federal law No. 172-ФЗ (FZ) dated December 21, 2004 “On transition of land and land lots from one category to another” allows the transition of land lots from secured forest category (as well as recreational forest, as for the Khimki forest case) for allocating the state or municipal objects if there are no other possibilities to allocate these objects. In such situation there are at least 11 other building variants, 2 official ones as well.

Making decision on highway building via the Khimki forest demonstrates that in cases when it concerns the interests of major commercial industrial groups or people with exclusive administrative possibilities the Russian laws defending the citizens rights do not work. The main joint owners of the concession company which is going to build the highway via the Khimki forest are a large French company VINCI and a Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg.

The highway building via the Khimki forest has already become one of the symbols of corruption, right lawlessness and state demoralization, defencelessness and suppression of citizens’ rights. This project undermines the rightful principles of our state, destroys the rest of trust of the citizens to the governmental institutions and splits the society.

In this connection the coalition “For Moscow region forests” calls the President of the Russian Federation to perform the duties imposed on him in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and provide defence of the civil activists in the urban district Khimki from the lawlessness of government and police. We demand:

The resignation of the government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Chief directorate in the Moscow region in connection with its inability to provide protection of rights, freedoms and security of citizens of the Russian Federation in the jurisdictional territory and consider the issue of the official conformity of the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation R. G. Nurgaliev.

To organize the investigation of the crimes committed in the urban district Khimki against the civil activists opposing corruption, illegal destroying of forests and green belts and punish the guilty ones.

To stop all works concerning the highway Moscow – St.-Petersburg building immediately, investigate professionally and openly the grounds why the highway was to be built via the Khimki forest as there were alternative variants providing forest security.

Greenpeace Russia
WWF Russia
Khimki Forest defence activity
Wild nature centre
Bird security centre of Russia
International Social-Environmental Union