Russia: Elan Mine Activists Brutally Beaten (video)

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May 13, Khoper, Central Russia – participants of a civil peaceful watch camp at Khoper were brutally beaten by the guards of the nickel mining company LLC Mednogorsky Copper and Sulfur Plant.

The locals — civil watch participants, were documenting the law violations by the LLC Mednogorsky Copper and Sulfur Plant (Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company) who have started geological works on these territories. The locals were standing in front of the illegally-installed fence when the private security guards (from a Patrul’ company) opened the gates and beat the activists, pushing away police officers who tried to protect the demonstrators. The guards dragged three activists in, closed the gates and continued to beat them while the police and other locals tried to open the gates. Then they threw over the bodies of the beaten activists over a two-meter metal fence.

One of the locals – Igor Zhitenev, a Cossack chieftain, fell unconscious while being beaten. He is suffering from concussion, broken ribs and a broken jaw, as later stated by paramedics. Other activists have their noses smashed and their teeth broken. The guards used tasers and threw bricks at the activists, inflicting head injuries on two other activists.

The peaceful civil watch began on May 11, 2013 as a bid to fix and document illegal works on the territories earmarked for the further obtrusive nickel mining. The nickel mining company started illegally cutting down trees and installing metal fences with concrete foundations on the agricultural territories. These works were temporary stopped by the activists who called the police. But the regional police prefer not to interfere in the conflict.
On May 13 Cossack Alexander Dolgopyatov started a hunger strike in Novokhopersk against nickel mining in the region. This week other locals plan to join him in the hunger strike.

The striker and the civil watch participants insist on the ban of the toxic nickel mining in these major agricultural Black Earth territories of the Central Russia. The license to mine nickel was awarded to the LLC Mednogorsky Copper and Sulfur Plant without taking into account the damage nickel mining will inflict in these territories, which are home to many endangered species, and without any respect to local peoples’ wishes. This amounts to violations of both civil rights and ecological regulations.

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People were standing peacefully in front of illegally installed fence. Private Security Guards “Patrol” opened the gates and began to beat activists, then grabbed of 3 men, was dragged behind a fence on the enclosed grounds, pushing the rest of the activists and the police who tried to stop them. After closing the gate, they collectively beat the activists behind the fence, some throwing them into a two-meter metal sheet fence.

Igor Zhitenev, Ataman cultural-national autonomy Novokhopersk, lost consciousness during the beating, he suffered a concussion, broken ribs and a broken jaw. Other activists also suffered smashed teeth and broken noses concluded by a medical examination.

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UPD 23.00 13.05 Beating the locals continues. PSE uses stun and throw bricks at people. Two other activists smashed his head with stones. Riot police called in Voronezh.
UPD 23-10 13.05 a broken head another two ekoaktivistov. About 10 residents were seriously injured.

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Original Report Details and Video at Save Khoper- Confrontation in Prihoperja: hunger strike declared, eco-camp stops work on copper-nickel depositsCivil people and ECO-Activists at Khoper (Russia) Brutally beaten by the guards Nickel Mining company: http://savekhoper.ru/?p=2301

(Back Story)
On April 21-In Moscow’s Suvorov Square, a rally was held to protest against the development of copper-nickel deposits in the Voronezh region of Prihoperja, Novokhopersk, Russia. The action was supported by leading environmental organizations: Greenpeace Russia and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Their solidarity with the opponents of the development of deposits in the Black Earth expressed in more than thirty cities and towns across Russia. A meeting was conducted by activists from among the Don Cossacks and environmentalists, in all they gathered about eight hundred people. Most of those present were residents of Prihoperja that are specifically for this action arrived in the capital. At the rally were representatives of the Cossacks, Prihoperja residents, environmentalists and scientists – Academician Alexei Yablokov and a senior fellow of the Institute of Water Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences Yuri Medovar.

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The unanimous opinion of all the speakers, supported by all participants of the meeting, is to ensure that the extraction of nickel in the Black Earth – is a crime against the local population and against the nature of Russia. Alexei Yablokov said that he sent an open letter to the president of Russia and the Governor of the Voronezh region with a recommendation to reconsider the decision to develop deposits in the Voronezh region. Adopted at rallies in Moscow and Voronezh resolutions contain the requirement to cancel the decision on the production of copper-nickel ores in Black Earth, immediately stop all work in the fields and hold a local referendum in Novokhopersk area.

Otherwise, residents Prihoperja reserve the right to conduct acts of civil disobedience in the form of hunger strikes, pickets, strikes and demand. Coordinator of “In Defense Chopra” Constantine said Rubakhin “PP”, despite the protests of scientists, environmentalists and local residents UMMC company began exploratory drilling in the field of the proposed mining on lands an agricultural purpose is building a large drill rigs, against civilian activists continued large-scale repression.

“We believe – said Konstantin Rubakhin – that the development of the fields we will not tolerate. To do this, there are four ways. First – this is a referendum. The second – the government or Putin stopped working. This, incidentally, will be for a very good PR, because all Chernozemie say thank you. The third option – to resolve the case by the court, that is, to recognize the decision on the initiation of void. And the fourth way – this is when people will decide this issue, as the main source of power in the Constitution. “
Article Details: http://grani.ru/Politics/Russia/activism/m.213958.html

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News revnewsmedia@gmail.com