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Activist arrested for spreading pro-Ukrainian leaflets dies in detention center in Russia

Anatoly Bereznikov, a 40-year-old activist, who had been distributing leaflets in Rostov-on-Don as part of the Ukrainian project “I want to live,” urging the Russian military to surrender, died in the city's detention center for administrative offenders, OVD-Info reports, citing his lawyer Irina Gak.

According to Gak, Bereznikov had been tortured with a stun gun the day before his death. He had also complained about receiving threats and facing promises to kill him. Bereznikov had been detained under the administrative code of the Russian Federation, specifically on charges of disorderly conduct and disobedience to a police officer.

On June 14th, when Irina Gak visited her client, she was informed that he was not present at the detention center. Shortly after, she witnessed the activist's body being transported in a medical vehicle. Bereznikov's lawyers and family members have repeatedly alleged that he was subjected to torture.

It is reported that Bereznikov, who was apprehended following a search of his apartment described by police officers as a “premises inspection,” was subjected to a pattern of “carousel arrests.” This method involves detaining an person immediately after they leave the place where they served their sentence, followed by new charges being filed against them. This practice is often employed as a precursor to initiating treason proceedings. The Telegram channel of the First Division human rights project states that such a case was being prepared against Bereznikov.

On June 2nd, it was reported that Khavazhi Magomadov, who was in custody, died at the Staropromyslovsky district detention center in Grozny. Prior to his death, Magomadov had expressed concerns to the Civic Assistance Committee regarding his safety, referring to his case as a fabricated one, and explicitly stating that he had no intentions of taking his own life. He had been charged with the sale of weapons.

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