UMMC opponents to find out about pre-trial restrictions on January 20

January 20, 2014. A court hearing where the pre-trial restrictions will be determined for eco-activists Igor Zhitenev and Mikhail Bezmensky will take place in Tverskoy Court of Moscow on January 20. The two men are suspected of extortion attempts targeted at Ural Mining & Metallurgical Company (UMMC) representatives (Article 163 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code), says a website called Protecting Khoper. The activists are currently being detained at Detention Unit 5 Vodnik.

'According to our data, Mikhail Bezmensky was pressured to testify against another environmental activists and coordinator of Protecting Khoper Konstantin Rubakhin,' the eco-activists say.

Now Igor Zhitenev and Mikhail Bezmensky were detained on November 28, 2013. Prior to this, the detainees' homes were searched through by law-enforcement officers.

UMMC's clash with the environmentalists and local Cossacks grew violent in 2013 when the company geologists were attacked in February; following a picket on June 22, the protest movement members destroyed their settlement, burned down the drilling units, and damaged the equipment. On October 31, the Cossacks and the UMMC representatives agreed to cooperate through setting up a joint group of experts and implementing environmental surveillance measures.


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