Moscow district attorneys want to deprive a second activist couple of their parental rights for attending an unpermitted rally. Prosecutors in the city’s Nikulinsky District have filed a lawsuit against Petr and Elena Khomsky for participating in a protest on August 3, according to the “Protest Apology” human rights project, which is defending the married couple, who have multiple children.
The trial opened preliminarily on August 22, but the Khomskys weren’t informed, and did not appear in court. The case formally begins on September 2.
According to “Protest Apology,” Petr Khomsky “showed up in pro-government footage as [Alexey] ‘Navalny’s bodyguard.’” This could refer to a video segment that aired on the state television network Rossiya 1about Moscow’s August 3 protest, which featured a man and woman pushing children in strollers, where the man is described as “the bodyguard of a well-known oppositionist.”
Update: Meduza has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, where district attorneys argue that the Khomskys brought their underage daughters to the August 3 demonstration, in order to evade arrest. Officials cite footage aired by REN TVas case evidence.
The Khomskys aren’t the first demonstrators who face a loss of their parental rights because they attended an unpermitted rally in Moscow. In early August, the Perovsky District Attorney’s Office filed a similar lawsuitagainst Olga and Dmitry Prokazov, for bringing their infant to a protest on July 27. Members of Russia’s Presidential Human Rights Council and Federation Council, as well as the Moscow children’s rights commissioner, have criticized prosecutors’ actions. The Prokazovs have also been named as witnesses to two felonies: child endangerment (Criminal Code 125) and failure to discharge the duties of raising a minor (Criminal Code 156).
- (c) MEDUZA 2019