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On the decision of the Velsk city court refusing Platon Lebedev in release on parole

Statement by YABLOKO Chairman
August 2, 2011

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its sincere and deep regret in view of the fact that Platon Lebedev [ex-head of Menatep imprisoned on the YUKOS case] was not released on parole.

Courts in our country often apply release on parole to killers and rapists who after their release turn into serial pedophiles. However, when absolutely non-dangerous for the citizens and publicly important figures such as Platon Lebedev are concerned, than private or group interests of the authorities prevail under the mask of law. The leadership of the country did not take any special decision on Lebedevs release on parole in an exceptional order which is not surprising in the context of the political developments around Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky case.

Examination of Platon Lebedevs application on release on parole and the decision adopted by court once again demonstrate that laws are applied selectively in our country and courts are not always obeying the law but try to serve to those in power. Thus a fundamental principle not only of our Constitution but also of modern life division of power is violated.

Unfortunately all the loud statements by President Medvedev on modernisation of judicial system have remained unrealized. That is why the Russian citizens do not believe in fair justice, moreover the society alienates itself from the Russian state.

We have been thinking and still think that Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky must be released, this would become an important and humanistic step and at the same time would serve to improvement of our public climate. We shall spare no effort for this.

YABLOKO calls the defence of Platon Lebedev not to loosen the efforts targeted at his release, and the Russian society to support the prisoner and continue demanding his release from the authorities.

We think that a true reform of the judicial system requires deep and decisive political changes, people rejecting the practices of the Soviet punitory system and orienting on European values and European institutes should come into power in Russia. Only this will allow for real improvements in the Russian legal system and revision of thousands of unlawful verdics made by courts for the past twenty years.

YABLOKO calls all the indifferent citizens to facilitate election of honest, really well-educated and European-minded politicians into power during parliamentary (2011) and presidential (2012) elections in Russia.


Sergei Mitrokhin,
Chair of the YABLOKO party

See also:

YABLOKO supports Platon Lebedev in Velsk. Press Release. July 26, 2011.

YABLOKO advocates release on parole for YUKOS head Platon Lebedev. July 20, 2011.

The YUKOS case

Human Rights

State Duma Elections 2011


August 2, 2011

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