A former Russian policeman who criticized security officials for their treatment of protesters supporting Aleksei Navalny says he has been charged for insulting a government official.
Sergei Rimsky said on July 20 that the Investigative Committee had informed him of the charge, which stems from an incident in April when he demanded officers respect the rights of those they were detaining, including him, at a rally for the country’s leading opposition figure.
“I was charged,” he said in a video on Instagram.
Rimsky left the police force in February, saying he had had enough after seeing how his fellow officers treated Navalny supporters at a rally in January where hundreds, some of whom were beaten, were detained.
He then was critical of Russia’s judicial system when it jailed Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critic, for breaking the terms of his probation from what is widely considered to be a trumped-up case because he left Russia in a coma for life-saving treatment after being poisoned with a nerve agent.
Rimsky said that police searched his apartment in May and took his laptop, phone, and “a couple of documents they found of interest.”
He said the raid was in connection with the charges he was informed of on July 20.
In a recent interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Rimsky said that he intends to run in elections to the State Duma.
“I guess we can say the election campaign has now started!” he said in the July 20 Instagram post.