Twenty women arrested on suspicion of protesting brutal Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine said they were forced to strip naked and squat in front of police cameras
Twenty Russian women arrested for protesting Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine claimed they were stripped naked and forced to “crouch in front of police cameras”.
The suspects were reportedly arrested at or near a rally and subjected to “humiliating and degrading” treatment, their lawyer says.
Policewomen ordered the suspected protesters, ages 18 to 27, to undress, but in some cases cell doors were left open as male police officers walked by.
Mobile phone cameras with video recorders spied on the alleged abuse in all cases.
It is understood that the men detained at the same time were not subjected to orders to undress and squat.
Olimpiada Usanova, who will go to court to challenge the treatment of the women, said: “I am outraged that every one of them in the detention center was searched in a degrading manner, which is against our laws.
“The women were searched by stripping and crouching five times in the presence of a detention center officer.
“A second humiliating search was carried out in the cells a few hours later and the women were forced to lift their shirts, remove their panties and expose their breasts in the camera surveillance area.
“I am concerned that female officers did not close the doors when some women were being examined and male officers were lurking there.”
She claims the male officers viewed footage of the women undressing and squatting.
She said: “Incarcerated men were only slapped on the front and back, that’s all. The girls were forced to strip naked and squat.
“And the next day they had to undress again and pull out their bras. This is despite the fact that every cell has CCTVs. This is a serious violation.”
Student Ekaterina Deviatenko, 18, is one of the alleged victims who agreed to reveal their identity before the trial.
She says she was listening to a musician near the rally when she was arrested.
“They searched us very slowly, arrogantly and with mockery,” she said.
“A policeman in some corner ordered me to undress. It immediately struck me as odd.
“I first stripped down to my underwear, but the officer demanded that I undress further. I replied that I have my period…
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“The policewoman replied, ‘Well, I’m a woman, I understand everything. Get undressed and squat down.”
“I had to do five squats.”
Russia has passed laws banning all protests against Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The women have been fined up to £215 for taking part in a banned anti-war rally. Lawyers are now demanding around £1,700 in compensation for each of the women.