[main page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][guestbook][press-service][hot issues]

Mitrokhin about political prisoners: "As long as at least one of them is in jail, any one from us can be the next"

Press Release

April 17, 2013



YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin called to pay close attention to the Russian regions where dozens of people had been persecuted for political reasons. He made such a statement at a rally against the political reprisals that took place in Moscow on April 17.

Sergei Mitrokhin recalled journalist Michael Beketov who was attacked and severely injured in 2008 and died of severe injuries in April 2013. The names of those who ordered this crime were known, but they were not arrested. Also many cases of murdered journalists and public figures remained unsolved, Mitrokhin said.

"What should be done to make our law enforcement system work and so that it stopped being so sluggish and inert, amorphous and unclear? One should simply start to really fight against corruption, as Alexei Navalny has begun doing or Maxim Petlin, leader of the Sverdlovsk branch of YABLOKO, who was imprisoned for disclosing a corruption scheme of Yekaterinburg authorities".

"When you start fighting against the system: fighting against corruption, for fair elections, and protect people from the arbitrary rule, that's when you start pulling the hidden thread - then there emerge evidence against you, and investigation develops very quickly and very quickly you are imprisoned," Mitrokhin said.

According to YABLOKOs leader, "the system protects thieves and murderers from such fighters".

The leader of YABLOKO called to protection of every political prisoner, "not only such well-known persons as Alexei Navalny, but also to defend Peter Ofitserov who will be on the same prisoners box with Navalny".

"Let us see look at the regions where many unknown activists have been persecuted and pressed on the order of the federal government. Let's do everything so that to replenish our ranks, let's create a committee for political prisoners and those who are facing detention," Mitrokhin noted.

"As long as at least one of them is in jail, any one from us can be the next," he concluded.

YABLOKO activists have been systematically facing pressure and persecution from the authorities. In different regions authorities collect information about YABLOKO members and activists, invite them to conversations, practice wiretapping, detentions, searches, seizure of documents, administrative arrests and open criminal cases against them.

In March 2013, the Sverdlovsk Region Court sentenced Maxim Petlin, leader of YABLOKOs branch in the Sverdlovsk region, to three years of imprisonment on trumped-up charges of extorting money from a construction company, as he and local residents of the area successfully fought against unlawful construction works of this company.

"Freedom to Maxim Petlin!"

Similar prosecutions and an clear danger of being imprisoned forced Suren Gazaryan, YABLOKOs activists in the Krasnodar Territory who openly criticized Governor Tkachyov, to leave Russia and ask for political asylum in Estonia.

Several YABLOKOs activists have been still on probation: Vasily Popov, YABLOKO Political Committee member (convicted for criticizing the head of Karelia) and Ivan Bolshakov, YABLOKO Bureau member (who allegedly broke a police officer's hand at a rally in South Butovo). Nikolai Kuznetsov has been recently sentenced on charges of assaulting a police officer in the city of Stupino, the Moscow region. Now they can not engage in a full-fledged political activities without rising to be imprisoned.


See also:

Human rights






Press Release

April 17, 2013

Rambler's Top100