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Alexei Melnikov: Jingle Bells of the Death Penalty

Alexei Melnikovs blog in the Live Journal

February 11, 2013

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has said today that he supports the death penalty for people who have committed serious crimes, "I fear to bring down the anger of the opponents of the death penalty on myself, but speaking as an ordinary citizen, rather than a minister, I would see nothing wrong [in the death penalty] for such kind of criminals".

It is no good when the high post prevents the expression of civic feelings. After such a statement by Mr. Kolokoltsev, he should have been immediately dismissed. Let him speak out as a citizen not burdened with the weight of public duties. In any case, the dismissal of Mr. Kolokoltsev would have been an adequate measure for the authorities who believe that the purpose of the government is installing of humanity.

Our ruling system suffers from a serious hereditary contempt for human life. Here the concept of a "violent crime", and any crime in general, is like rubber. And just like civil activities in case of a police state are easily transferred into crimes, this notion [of a violent crime] can be transferred into a grave offense. For example, "foreign agents" [which all the NGOs were pushed to turn into according the new Russian law] may be considered traitors and liberal views equated with an ideology targeted at destruction of the state. And the punishment here will be execution.

The statement by Mr. Kolokoltsev probably will not result in application of the death penalty in Russia. The sound of his uncertain police bell has not yet turned into an alarm bell of supreme reprisals. However, such a shameful statement is typical of the atmosphere of power abuse which has developed in Russia.

The sentences on the so-called "YUKOS case, the Pussy Riot case, the demonstration of May 6 and repressive laws demonstrate too well the direction of sliding of crooked and deceitful Russian authorities.

Photograph: Ivan Shagin. On the governments tribune. The air show in Tushino, 1936. A person in the photo was crossed out by censors.

See also:

Stalinisation of the Russian society targets "tightening of the screws". Statement by the YABLOKO party, February 6, 2013

Overcoming Stalin's Legacy

Human Rights


February 11, 2013

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