Garry Kasparov: ‘They Were Trying to Break My Leg’

8/18/2012 – New, harrowing video has emerged of Kasparov being severely man- handled by Moscow police, and now we hear that he could face a five-year jail sentence for allegedly biting a police officer. Protests in Russia are growing – it would be a hilarious irony if they led to a "Russian Summer" and the downfall of the Putin government over an action involving a punk band called Pussy Riot.

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Chess Champ Garry Kasparov: ‘They Were Trying to Break My Leg’

Here is close-up footage of the arrest of Garry Kasparov, standing calmly in the crowd giving an interview:

The bald man who is taken away (20" into the video) is shouting "Putin is a criminal!". Then Garry starts giving interview. He says that the protester are breaking the law, but that it is clear this law only exists to allow the powers that be to feel more comfortable. He also says many people, especially young people, think the law is not valid and sure be ignored. Then he is arrested. As they are bundling him onto the bus, he keeps asking "Why am I being arrested?" but gets no answer.


Shocking footage of the events – with Kasparov trying to escape from the bus at around 1:40 min into the video

After being punched in the genitals, thrown in a van and beaten by several police, Kasparov says the police have accused him of biting one of them – an allegation he denies. “They act like animals and they accuse me of biting them,” Kasparov told the Daily Beast in his first interview since being arrested.

Kasparov said he went to the trial to show his support for Pussy Riot. While he was waiting for the trial to start, he said, he was giving interviews in the area outside the court cordoned off for reporters and activists. At one point, he said, one of the reporters motioned him to come with him into the courtroom. He said as soon as he walked outside the cordoned-off area, he was rushed by seven or eight police officers.

“At first I asked, 'Why are you doing this?’” Kasparov said. “Then I became annoyed. I said I want to get out of here.” He said that’s when the police started beating him. “I remember one strong hit between the legs, then they tried to bring me in the bus, and they started carrying me and beating me. When that happens, you resist,” Kasparov said. “They were trying to break my leg.”

The police officers, Kasparov said, began to carry his limp body into a van with others whom they had arrested. The former chess champion said he remembered screaming in agony. “I remember inside the van they threw me to the floor,” he said. “Then they took my right leg, they push the leg to the ceiling. I now have problems with the right side of the back.” Kasparov said when he was in the van, the police officers continued to beat him. He says the only witnesses were other people the police had arrested. “Can you imagine what it means to bite someone when you are being beaten? There should be blood on my face. It is beyond any common sense.”

At the station, Kasparov said, he was confronted by officers who told him he wouldn’t be charged. But he said he later saw a police report accusing him of instigating the violence and organizing a riot outside the courtroom. “Why the hell did you say I was shouting or trying to organize this, you saw what happened?” he said he asked the police officers. “They wouldn’t look in my eyes.”

After nearly five hours in the police station, Kasparov was taken to a nearby hospital, where staff said the x-ray machine was broken. Speaking late Friday from his home in Moscow, Kasparov said he intended to press charges against the police and was collecting video of how he was beaten before being dragged into the police van.

For Kasparov, his arrest and the trial of Pussy Riot “just shows that Russia has nothing to do with the rule of law.” He added, “We’ve been saying Putin is a dictator for years who doesn’t care about the law. Today, he proved it.”

Kasparov claimed police arrested him for no reason as he was giving an interview, twisting his arms and kicking him in the crotch on the way to the police van. He said he would sue police over the incident. Kasparov also denied biting anyone and said the officer in question, Denis Ratnikov, could have run afoul of a police dog. A police spokesman said the force was willing to conduct an examination to compare Kasparov's bite to that of their service dogs.

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