Georgy Satarov: 'Aleksandr Ryklin's Freedom'

posted 18 Dec 2015, 07:32 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 18 Dec 2015, 07:36 ]
16 December 2015

By Georgy Satarov

Source: Ezhednevnyi zhurnal

Below we publish an extract from Georgy Satarov, 'Svoboda Aleksandra Ryklina,' Ezhednevnyi zhurnal, 16 December 2015

[…] So there we have it. The court proceedings started, but what went on was nonsense of the highest order. Even someone as intelligent as Sergei Sharov-Delone was unable to hold back, revealing that he is no stranger to strong language. The judge rejected seven defence pleas – including all eyewitness testimonies – and quickly left the chamber, before returning just as quickly. She then pronounced the sentence almost inaudibly while, in a phrase popularized by Navalny, staring at the table. She pronounced the defendant guilty and imposed a fine of 1000 rubles. Sasha was free. Can you imagine? It’s like being under a shower where the water constantly changes from boiling hot to icy cold – and this is the fate of the editor-in-Chief of the Ezhednevnyi zhurnal [Daily Journal].

Now for some additional details. The start of proceedings was delayed for three and a half hours, during which time the judge who was scheduled to hear the case – Judge Ivanov, famous for closing down the Ezhednevnyi zhurnal – was replaced by Judge Orekhova, who is even more renowned for her ferocity. Benches were carried by court ushers into the chamber in which the hearing was to be held, with space for several dozen of Sasha’s supporters. Have you ever seen such touching concern on the part of our courts? Towards the end of the hearing it turned out that a team of NTV reporters were present in the chamber – without the mandatory press badges, it should be noted. At the same time the corridor and the staircase filled up with a group of musclemen from the second regiment, being instructed by an officer in the art of carrying people out down a narrow staircase. And that is by no means everything that was strange about what was going on.

What I think really happened is this: Moscow’s Tver district court had prepared itself for an enormous and monstrous act of provocation in the form of an unexpectedly harsh sentence, an outraged reaction in the court chamber and bodies having to be carried out, all filmed by the cameras of the NTV reporters (and others). That is why the City Government was so incensed at the disappearance of its two victims, namely myself and Sasha, forced to play a role in this farce due to the absence of any other option. It was only at the last moment that the court was outmanoeuvred by the efforts of a higher power, the identity of which is unclear to me. This was why the judge was so reluctant to read out the ruling which had been imposed on her and which belied her well-earned reputation. I am also sure that my arrest and Sasha’s abrupt detention were carried out by the FSB as a continuation of the combination dreamed up by the City Government. But someone pardoned me, for which I would like to offer my thanks. I think that this explains the unprecedented efforts undertaken to recapture Sasha so that the provocation would succeed at least in part. Yet once again an unknown Captain Nemo intervened at the last moment. I can only express thanks once again, both on my behalf and on Sasha’s behalf, and on behalf of everyone who did not suffer bodily damage from the unfortunate musclemen who were visibly embarrassed when they were told to their faces what they were going to do to people. [...]

Translated by Joanne Reynolds