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Moscow Prosecutor Seeks To Take Protesting Couple's Child


Dmitry Prokazov (center) and Sergei Fomin take a selfie with Prokazov's son at an opposition rally in Moscow.

MOSCOW -- The Moscow city prosecutor's office wants to revoke the parental rights of a couple that brought their 1-year-old son to an unsanctioned rally in front of the Moscow mayor's office on July 27.

The prosecutor's office said in an August 6 statement that the couple gave their son to a third person during the rally, "exposing the child to danger and causing physical and moral damage" to the boy.

The statement did not name the couple or the third person.

The Perovsky district court in Moscow identified the father of the child as Dmitry Prokazov, and said it would look into the prosecutor's motion to deprive him and his wife of their parental rights.

The court said the date of the hearing in the case had not yet been set.

Prokazov told RFE/RL that police searched their apartment overnight, adding that he and his wife were "absolutely innocent."

"We have not taken part in any kind of mass unrests and have never left our child in danger or alone," he said.

Prokazov also said that he, his wife, their son, and his wife's cousin Sergei Fomin were on their way home on July 27, when he asked Fomin to carry his son.

"There were no cordons, no police, we simply were going home," he said.

On August 5, the Investigative Committee said in a statement that Fomin used a third party's child to go through a police cordon to avoid detainment when leaving the demonstration.

Fomin, whose current whereabouts is unknown, was charged in absentia with taking part in "mass riots," the Investigative Committee statement said.

Police detained more than 1,300 people at the July 27 demonstration to demand free municipal polls, and more than 1,000 people were detained during a similar rally in Moscow on August 3.

Dozens of protesters have since been fined or given jail sentences for organizing and participating in the unsanctioned rally.

Several others are facing criminal charges for taking part in "mass unrest" and allegedly assaulting police and are being kept in pretrial detention until at least September 27.

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