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Leonid Razvozzhayev: Russia opposition activist arrested

Russia opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, who was snatched off the street in Kiev, Ukraine, says he was kidnapped and tortured, not arrested.

Russian opposition activist Leonid RazvozzhayevEnlarge
A demonstrator holds a poster reading: 'Freedom for Political Prisoners!' during a protest against the arrest of opposition activists outside the Investigative Committee offices in Moscow, late on Oct. 22, 2012. Russian investigators said Tuesday that opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev had turned himself in and confessed to plotting mass riots, while the activist himself claimed he had been kidnapped from Ukraine and tortured. (ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, who was snatched off the street in Kiev, Ukraine, says he was kidnapped and tortured, not arrested.

According to BBC News, the US Embassy in Moscow has expressed its concern over Razvozzhayev's detention and transfer to the Russian capital. The activist was in Kiev seeking UN advice about political asylum. He has been accused by Russian investigators of plotting mass disorder in Russia.

Russian officials have said Razvozzhayev turned himself in and was not abducted, BBC also reported. Ukraine's interior ministry said police did not get involved because it appeared Razvozzhayev had been detained by "secret services."

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"Our country has entered a new era of Stalin-like repressions," veteran rights activist Valery Borshchyov told reporters after visiting Razvozzhayev in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo detention center, noted The Moscow Times. According to Borshchyov, Razvozzhayev told a delegation of the Public Monitoring Commission, an officially sanctioned prison watchdog, that he was abducted by four men after leaving the office of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in the Ukrainian capital to buy some food. His captors told him that his wife and two children would be killed if he did not confess to plotting to incite anti-Kremlin riots, allegations that had been made in a recent documentary.

Razvozzhayev's own life was also threatened, and he was told he would be made to take mind-altering drugs if he didn't answer questions properly, commission members told the Times. He was left chained in a basement without food or drink and was ridiculed for days, in what he called "psychological torture," leading him to sign a written confession. If convicted, Razvozzhayev faces up to 10 years in prison.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/121025/leonid-razvozzhayev-russia-opposition-activist-arrested