14 March: Russian lawyer, Aleksey Kalugin, tried to be detained for defending anti-war protester

Aleksey Kalugin, the lawyer of the Chamber of Lawyers of the Leningrad Region , declared a blatant violation of his professional rights. At first, they refused to let him into the St. Petersburg police department to see a trustee who was detained at a rally. When he tried to record his inadmissibility on video, the police dragged the lawyer into the building, handcuffed him and said that he was defending “Nazis”. Kalugin demands to initiate a criminal case on abuse of power, the chamber fully supports him.
The incident took place on the night of March 7 in St. Petersburg. At about 5 am, lawyers Aleksey Kalugin and Sergei Podolsky arrived at police station No. 31 – there was a client who was detained during a mass rally against the war in Ukraine. They rang the intercom at the gate; the officer on duty said that the head of the department had ordered that “unauthorized persons”, including lawyers, not be allowed in. Kalugin and Podolsky reported what was happening to the hotline of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and left a message on number 112. After a police officer came to the lawyers,  hewith his right hand, he grabbed the lawyer’s jacket with force and began to drag him into the territory of the police department. The lawyer warned that he was recording the violation on video, so the policeman “began wringing his hands, pulling out his phone, trying to handcuff him; stated that he was detaining him for assaulting a police officer.”
Then the lawyer was taken to the office of the head of the department. “This chief told us for a long time that we are protecting the wrong people. What are these Nazis, and we are accomplices of the Nazis, – recalls Kalugin. “In his opinion, since we arrived at the department at night instead of getting acquainted with the case in court, then we are clearly “ideological” and “must be fought” with us too.” The lawyer tried to explain that he helps people regardless of their political views, but the policeman “was impenetrable.”
In the middle of the conversation, the handcuffs were nevertheless removed from Kalugin, and then released.
Kalugin filed an official appeal with the KZPA; members of the commission will consider it “in the very near future.” On March 10, the lawyer filed an application for abuse of office (Article 286 of the Criminal Code) to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Main Investigative Directorate of the ICR and the St. Petersburg prosecutor’s office.