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Russian journalist’s arm broken after being physically removed from polling station by cop – reports

Russian journalist’s arm broken after being physically removed from polling station by cop – reports
A Russian journalist allegedly had his arm broken by police while being forcibly removed from a voting centre in the country’s second-biggest city, St. Petersburg.

David Frenkel, a correspondent for alternative media outlet MediaZona, had his arm broken on Tuesday while being physically removed from a polling station. According to him, he was removed by an officer at the behest of the precinct election commissioner. The police deny any wrongdoing.

The police have forwarded the material from their internal enquiry into the incident with Frenkel to the Investigative Committee so that it can carry out an “effective probe” into the actions of the officers, according to Deputy Interior Minister Aleksandr Gorovoy.

Russians are currently exercising their franchise on a set of constitutional amendments that could enable President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036.

“I was grabbed by the arm, and they twisted it. I tumbled to the floor, and they punched my right forearm. After all that, my arm was broken, and I screamed very loudly in pain,” he said. The journalist also claims that some election observers took part, with one tugging his already broken arm.

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According to business news daily Kommersant, Frenkel arrived at the site and was required to register, but the local commissioner hesitated to fill out the form. When Frenkel announced that he would start working, the police told him to leave the polling station. The journalist began to take photos of the police officers’ faces and badges, demanding they introduce themselves. One of the officers then physically removed him, fracturing his arm.

Speaking to Russian newspaper RBC, the St. Petersburg police department said Frenkel was not attacked, and they were simply legally fulfilling the request of the precinct commissioner to take him out of the polling station.

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According to Central Election Commission (CEC) head Ella Pamfilova, it’s too early for the commission to comment, but both they and the police are investigating the incident. 

“Law enforcement agencies are there,” she said. “We watched the video. Now, it’s too early to say anything.”

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