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Case into epidemiological violations during January 23 rally goes to investigators

Two more suspects were identified in the case

MOSCOW, January 31. /TASS/. The Russian Interior Ministry forwarded to the Russian Investigative Committee a criminal case into suspected violations of sanitary and epidemiological requirements, launched in the wake of the January 23 unauthorized rally in Moscow, a lawyer has told reporters.

"The case launched under part Article 236 part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of sanitary and epidemiological requirements) was handed over to the Investigative Committee today," said Veronika Polyakova, who defends two suspects in the case.

Earlier, the case was handled by investigators of the Russian Interior Ministry.

More suspects identified

The press secretary of blogger Alexey Navalny, Kira Yarmysh, has become a suspect in a criminal case into violating sanitary and epidemiological regulations, her lawyer Veronika Popova told TASS.

"On the day her administrative detention ended, she was detained again for 48 hours right at the detention facility. She was told that she is now a suspect in a case launched under part 1 Article 236 of the Russian Criminal Code (Violation of Sanitary and Epidemiological Regulations)," the lawyer said.

Later in the day, officers of the Russian Investigative Committee detained an activist of the Moscow office of Russian blogger Alexei Navalny, who is listed as a suspect in the case of violations of sanitary and epidemiological regulations during the January 23 unauthorized rally in Moscow, his lawyer told TASS.

"Investigative Committee officers detained my client Lyaskin as part of a case launched under Article 236 Part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (Violation of Sanitary and Epidemiological Regulations). He has the status of a suspect," lawyer Sergei Telnov said.

On January 29, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court placed under house arrest until March 23 Oleg Navalny, activists Lyubov Sobol and Maria Alyokhina, head of the Alliance of Doctors Anastasia Vasilyeva and coordinator of Alexey Navalny’s headquarters Oleg Stepanov over a violation of sanitary-epidemiological norms at an unauthorized rally on January 23.

As Russian Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Irina Volk has said, organizers and participants of unauthorized rallies on January 23 created a threat of the spread of the novel coronavirus infection. For example, some of the Moscow rally participants at the Pushkin Square were diagnosed with novel coronavirus and ordered to remain in self-isolation. Moscow’s anti-coronavirus crisis center reported that at least 19 people with COVID-19, who had been instructed to stay at home, participated in the rally.

In the wake of the rally, four criminal cases were launched into violence against police officers, as well as one case of hooliganism, one case on damaged Federal Security Service vehicle, and one case on traffic blocking. According to reports, some 600 people were apprehended during the rallies.