Emilia Slabunova: criminal case against Svetlana Chechil is politically motivated
Press release, 16.05.2016
YABLOKO Chair Emilia Slabunova and ex Mayor of Petrozavodsk Galina Shirshina have conducted a picket in support of Svetlana Chechil in Petrozavodsk,Karelia, today. Pickets in support of YABLOKO Federal Council member Svetlana Chechil also took place in Moscow, Ivanovo, Vladimir, Tula, Cherkessk, Kursk, Saratov and other cities.
YABLOKO representatives handed out leaflets about the fabricated criminal case against Svetlana Chechil.
“It is obvious that the criminal case against Svetlana Chechil is politically motivated. The persecution of a number of party members including Svetlana Chechil started after YABLOKO’s team and Galina Shirshina had won the mayoral elections in Petrozavodsk. Taking into consideration that Svetlana is going to participate in the autumn elections and will be one of the leaders on the candidates lists [the authorities] decided to remove her. We claim that the criminal case is fabricated,” Emilia Slabunova commented.
It was Svetlana Chechil’s birthday yesterday. Emilia Slabunova visited her family on that day.
A provocation turned out to take place in Petrozavodsk as well. Unknown young people conducted picketing against YABLOKO’s team. However, they failed to explain to the journalists why they had conducted that action and what YABLOKO members had been guilty of.
The St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO also expressed solidarity with Svetlana Chechil. YABLOKO Bureau member Anatoly Golov, deputies of YABLOKO faction is St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly Boris Vishnevsky and Alexander Kobrinsky, party members Vladimir Molodozhenya, Sofia Gelig, Vasily Pogrebnoy and others participated in the picket.
In the city of Ryazan Chair of the regional YABLOKO branch Pavel Senin, party Federal Council member Konstantin Smirnov, editor-in-chief of the Ryazan department of Novaya Gazeta [well-known newspaper] Alexei Frolov, YABLOKO members and supporters participated in the solidarity action.
Chair of the Ivanovo branch of YABLOKO Danila Bedayev conducted a one-person picket, too. “Reprisals take place when the authorities treat the citizens selectively, reasoning from their political views. When they attack our party members we must remain one team and support each other in a difficult situation,” he said.
The Petrozavodsk City Court sentenced her to 1.5 years in a penal colony under Article 286 Part 1 of the Criminal Code (abuse of authority). YABLOKO claims that criminal persecution of Svetlana Chechil, former head of the Administration of Prionezhsky municipal district, Karelia, is groundless, absurd and politically motivated.
The criminal case against Chechil was filed right after the elections of 2013, on the eve of the election Governor of Karelia Alexander Khudilainen had warned Svetlana Chechil that she would have to talk to an investigator soon. Earlier First Deputy Governor Oleg Gromov hinted Chechil at the possible consequences of her political disobedience.
During 2013-2015 a large number of criminal cases were filed against the members of YABLOKO’s team: Deputy Mayor of Petrozavodsk Evgenia Sukhorukova, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Karelia Anastasia Kravchuk, leader of the regional YABLOKO branch Vasily Popov, Chair of the army veterans council of the city Galina Karasova, deputy of Petrozavodsk City Council Olga Zaletskaya and other party members. The elected mayor of Petrozavodsk Galina Shirshina was illegally ousted from her position. YABLOKO calls Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika to stop political persecution of YABLOKO members in Karelia.