Cultural figures and academics speak out in support of Novaya gazeta and Echo of Moscow

posted 24 Apr 2017, 05:02 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 24 Apr 2017, 05:03 ]
17 April 2017


Journalists, writers and academics have published a declaration of solidarity with journalists from Novaya gazeta and Echo of Moscow, Sergei Parkhomenko, editor and civil society activist has reported. “Take a look at the signatures – you’ll see so many well-known names. It seems to me it is an important event that all these people should unite to speak out on something that has become important for each of us – and at a moment that they all consider decisive,” said Sergei Parkhomenko. 

The statement is the first joint action of the association with the working name “Free Speech”, whose purpose will be to defend free speech in Russia. 

Open Letter 

We, as members of the “Free Speech Association” – writers, journalists, public figures in the arts, academics – are extremely disturbed by threats aimed at our colleagues, journalists working at “Novaya Gazeta”, who have published on their pages material on mass arrests, torture and extra-judicial killings carried out against people living in Chechnya. 

We believe that the threatening and aggressive reaction to the journalists’ work that was seen on 3rd April at a rally of many thousands at the Central Mosque in Grozny, is unacceptable in a civilised society and should be evaluated from the point of view of Russian law. 

The absence of a proper reaction on the part of the law enforcement agencies and the country’s authorities triggered the usual threats – this time against the journalists from “Echo of Moscow” who spoke out in support of their colleagues at “Novaya Gazeta”. 

We remember too well how threats of this kind end. The uninvestigated murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Natalya Estemirova, the failure of investigators and the court to conduct a rigorous trial in the case of the murder of Boris Nemtsov compel us to follow the development of this situation with special trepidation. 

We demand that law enforcement agencies and the Prosecutor-General of the Russian Federation deliver a full legal evaluation of actions intended to incite hatred and enmity towards journalists carrying out their professional duties, and to decisively put a stop to regularly recurring recent attempts to substitute the legal foundations of the Russian Constitution with some sort of vestiges of customary law or religious dogmas. 

Nadezhda Azhgikhina, journalist 
Svetlana Aleksievich, writer
Alexander Arkhangelsky, writer 
Dmitry Bavilsky, writer 
Elena Baevskaya, translator, teacher 
Irina Balakhonova, Publisher 
Nune Barseghyan, writer, psychologist 
Leonid Bakhnov, writer 
Irina Bogatyreva, writer 
Tatyana Bonch-Osmolovskaya, writer
Marina Boroditskaya, poet, translator, children's writer
Alla Bossart, writer
Olga Varshaver, translator
Dmitry Vedenyapin, the poet
Marina Vishnevetskaya, writer, screenwriter
Vladimir Voinovich, writer
Sergey Gandlevsky, writer
Alisa Ganieva, writer
Alexander Gelman, playwright
Kristina Gorelik, journalist
Varvara Gornostayeva, publisher
Mark Greenberg, translator
Natalia Demina, journalist
Vitaliy Dixon, writer
Olga Drobot, translator
Eugene Ermolin, critic, cultural historian
Victor Yesipov, poet, literary critic
George Efremov, poet, translator
Natalia Ivanova, writer, critic
Alexander Illichevsky, writer
Igor Irtenev, writer
Gennady Kalashnikov, the poet
Pavel Kataev, writer,
Irina Kravtsova, Publisher
Gennady Krasukhin, literary critic, writer
Maya Kucherskaya, writer
Alexander Livergant, translator
Natalia Mavlevich, translator
Alexey Motrov, writer
Vladimir Moshchenko, writer
Anton Nechaev, writer
Leonid Nikitinsky, journalist
Sergey Parkhomenko, journalist
Grigory Pasko, journalist
Nikolay Podosokorsky, philologist, literary critic 
Alexander Podrabinek, journalist 
Alyosha Prokopiev, poet, translator 
Maria Rybakova, writer 
Zoya Svetova, journalist 
Olga Sedakova, writer 
Alexey Slapovsky, writer 
Vladimir Sorokin, writer 
Vladimir Sotnikov, writer
Tatyana Sotnikova (Anna Berseneva), writer
Irina Staf, philologist, translator
Lyubov Somm, translator
Lev Timofeev, writer
Lyudmila Ulitskaya, writer
Elena Fanailova, poet, journalist
Igor Kharichev, writer
Alexey Tsvetkov, writer, essayist
Grigory Chkhartishvili (Boris Akunin), writer
Alla Shevelkina, journalist
Tatiana Shcherbina, poet, essayist
Sergey Yakovlev, writer
Alexander Yarin, translator

Translated by Frances Robson