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Moscow police search homes of unauthorized rally’s participants

Law enforcers are confiscating information carriers
Police officers and unauthorized rally participants, July 27, 2019 Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Police officers and unauthorized rally participants, July 27, 2019
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. Police are searching the homes of participants in an unauthorized rally that resulted in mass unrest in Moscow on July 27, a law enforcement source told TASS on Wednesday.

"The searches of homes of the rally’s participants are underway. They are being conducted by the Department for the Protection of Constitutional Order and the Department for Combating Extremism of the Federal Security Service’s Moscow branch," the source said.

According to it, the searches are taking place as part of an investigation into mass unrest that the Investigative Committee opened following the July 27 unauthorized rally. "Police are seizing data storage devices, including flash memory cards and laptops," the source pointed out. Law enforcement agencies are working to identify the organizers and coordinators of the rally. "Police are checking out posts on social media and messaging services to identify the contacts of the rally’s participants," the source added.

Another law enforcement source told TASS earlier that Investigative Committee officials had detained Vasily Kuzmin, a coordinator of the Left Bloc movement.

The Investigative Committee earlier opened a probe into the unauthorized rally under Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code (mass unrest). Another three investigations were launched under Article 318 (the use of force against officials).

According to investigators, the day before the rally, its organizers called on Internet users to take part in the activity, adding that mass unrest was possible. The marchers blatantly violated public order, used force against law enforcement officials, broke through police cordons and blocked traffic on several streets. Under Article 212, mass unrest charges carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.