Detained Russian Activist Details Abduction from Ukraine

Posted October 24th, 2012 at 10:35 am (UTC-5)
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A jailed Russian opposition activist charged with planning mass riots has given details on how he was allegedly abducted from Ukraine by Russian special forces and tortured into confessing.

Leonid Razvozzhayev, an assistant deputy of the opposition Just Russia party, told human rights activists visiting him Wednesday in detention that he was dragged into a van by a group of masked men last week in Kyiv, Ukraine, where he had been seeking asylum.

Razvozzhayev says he was taken across the border into Russia and held in a building where he was deprived of food and access to the toilet for several days.

He says that his so-called confession was written under intense psychological torture.

Russia's Investigations Committee said Razvozzhayev turned himself in Sunday in Ukraine and admitted to involvement in organizing mass disturbances in Russia.

The Kyiv office of the United Nations refugee agency confirmed Monday that Razvozzhayev disappeared after registering with the agency last week.

Razvozzhayev was featured in a pro-Kremlin documentary in which he and other activists appeared to plan mass riots and a coup in an effort funded by Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

He faces up to 10 years if convicted.

Razvozzhayev's arrest follows a criminal probe launched last week by Russian authorities against two other opposition activists on charges they organized riots in May in Moscow. Left Front party leader Sergei Udaltsov was released and ordered to stay in Moscow, but his aide, Konstantin Lebedev, is in police custody.