YABLOKO is calling to stop criminal action against Yuri Samodurov, Director of the Sakharov Centre, and Andrei Yerofeyev, fines art expert.
Accusations in arousing hatred and religious strife for organisation of a fine arts exhibition are not merely absurd, but even dangerous in the 21st century.
There may be different opinions about the exhibits represented at the УProhibited Art Ц 2006 Ф exhibition, however, they are subject for a public discussion, rather than a criminal case.
Tolerance and freedom of speech, including that expressed by means of art, are fundamental values of the European civilization, Russia inclusive. These values are not imposed on us by a third party, but are developed through our pained history on our way from barbarity, atrocity and prejudices to humanism and patience.
Turning the discussion about a fine arts exhibition into a criminal case supported by the state constitutes a recoil back from public peace to hostility, from patience to hatred. We have all the grounds to think that close attention of the law-enforcement bodies to Director of the Sakharov Centre is connected with the activities of this institute in the field of human rights protection.
Rejection of dissenting opinions, intention to impose state regulations on creative and any other way of thinking represents a recurrence of RussiaТs totalitarian past, a recurrence of bolshevism and Stalinism. Any attempt to move in this direction should be interpreted by our society as a signal of great danger. This is what history has taught us.
Freedom of Speech
YABLOKO and the Grim Symbols of the Soviet Era