In memory of Boris Nemtsov: Yabloko hits back at political persecution in Russia
Liberal International, 02.03.2017
Commemorating the second anniversary of the politically motivated assassination of liberal Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, Yabloko (LI full-member) has stood firm in the face of ongoing political persecution in Russia, organizing and participating in a number of protest marches in Mr. Nemtsov’s memory.
Addressing thousands of activists and Yabloko members, the party founder and Chair of its Federal Political Committee, Grigory Yavlinsky, insisted that those responsible for Mr. Nemtsov’s murder cannot go unpunished. “The murder of Boris Nemtsov is an act of political terror executed in a demonstrative way – by the Kremlin walls. He was killed because he spoke out loud what he thought. He was an open and bright opponent of the government. The political responsibility for the murder lies personally with President Putin. The responsibility also lies with all those creating the atmosphere of hatred and intimidation in our country.Those who ordered this murder have neither been named, nor sought for” he said.
He further insisted that the demonstrations were also against all violence, degradation, and terrorism in the country not least against all forms of opposition to President Putin’s government.
Yabloko’s Chairperson, Emilia Slabunova, echoed Yavlinsky’s words saying: “Boris Nemtsov’s murder was purely political committed in the most political place in Russia: by the Kremlin walls. This murder had a political goal: to intimidate the Russian society and show that this would happen to anyone opposing the government. These were shots not only in Boris Nemtsov. These were shots at each one of us so as to kill our faith in justice and our hope for freedom and spread fear.”
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Sergei Mitrokhin, member of the Federal Political Committee of the party and leader of its Moscow branch, reminded of the many other victims of the political terror conducted by the Russian state on a daily basis not least of Larissa Yudina, journalist and Chair of the Kalmykian branch of YABLOKO, Yuri Shchekochikhin, a pillar of Russian investigative journalism and Member of Parliament in the Yabloko faction in the State Duma and Farid Babayev, human rights defender, Yabloko member and candidate to the State Duma.
Boris Nemtsov was killed on the night of February 28, 2015, on the bridge by the Kremlin wall in Moscow and during the last year of his life he openly opposed the war between Russia and Ukraine threatening to expose the involvement of Russian troops in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
Liberal International has been consistently vocal against the oppression of fundamental freedoms and human rights in Russia with LI Vice-President and Chair of LI Human Rights Committee, Markus Loening, delivering the keynote speech a the inaugural Boris Nemtsov Award Ceremony last year.