Memorial publishes new lists of political prisoners in today’s Russia

posted 13 Nov 2017, 06:01 by Website Service   [ updated 13 Nov 2017, 06:07 ]
30 October 2017 


Traditionally, on 30 October, on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions, Memorial Human Rights Centre publishes lists of political prisoners.

As of today, 117 names are on these lists (list 1 and list 2). These lists are known to be incomplete and are, in fact, merely the minimum reliable assessment of the extent of political repressions which involve imprisonment. 102 people were on the list last year. In today's Russia, the real number of political prisoners and people who are deprived of their liberty for political reasons is doubtless significantly higher.

28 political prisoners have been released over the last year. Fifteen of them (Marat Bazarbaev, Andrei Bubeev, Rushat Valiev, Airat Dilmukhametov, Rinat Idelbaev, Anton Izokaitis, Dmitrii Ishevskii, Bagir Kazikhanov, Vadim Nasyrov, Ivan Nepomnyashchikh, Sergei Nikiforov, Darya Polyudova, Leonid Razvozzhaev, Aleksei Sutuga and Sergei Udal'tsov) had served their full prison sentences; three of them (Aleksei Nikonorov, Taisiya Osipova and Leonid Tikhonov) were released on parole; another (Aleksei Moroshkin) was released after enforced medical treatment; four (Natalya Sharina, Ruslan Sokolovskii, Igor Zhitenev and Yurii Mukhin) had their prison sentences lifted; four (Oksana Sevastidi, Annik Kesyan, Marina Dzhandzhgava and Akhtem Chiigoz) were pardoned; and the convictions of two others (Ildar Dadin and Igor Stenin) were quashed.

45 people were added to the lists of political prisoners during the same period. Some of them – Dmitrii Borisov, Stanislav Zimovets, Dmitrii Krepkin, Yurii Kulii, Aleksei Politikov and Aleksandr Shpakov – were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment or held in pre-trial detention for alleged violence against the police during peaceful protests against corruption on 26 March 2017.

The criminal prosecution of Dmitrii Bogatov, who is under house arrest, infringes the right to freedom of information.

One activist, Danis Safargali, was sentenced, and another activist, Vladimir Egorov, is in custody, for posts on social media which contained criticism of Russia's leadership; they did not incite violence. A Ukrainian activist, Vladimir Balukh, was sentenced in Crimea on trumped-up charges.

Vladimir Lapygin, a 77-year-old academic, was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for legally sharing scholarly information with Chinese colleagues, and Inga Tutisani, an unemployed woman from Krasnodar region, was sentenced to six years in prison for sending two text messages to a Georgian citizen about seeing Russian military vessels through her bus window in Abkhazia. Both were victims of spy-mania intended to bolster state propaganda's position that "Russia is surrounded by enemies".

Human rights defender Yurii Dmitriev, head of the Karelia branch of Memorial, was detained on clearly trumped-up charges after having spent decades preserving the memory of victims of Stalinist repressions.

Sergei Reznikov, an activist, was sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment on the trumped-up charge of possessing drugs, in the interests of the local authorities; Aleksandr Eivazov, a critic of shortcomings in the legal system, was detained on unsubstantiated charges of obstruction of justice.

25 people were added to the number of people prosecuted for exercising their right to religious freedom. Most of these were Muslims, particularly those accused of membership of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party or of the non-existent ''Nurdzhalar'' organisation, but one of those detained was a representative of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Dane Dennis Kristensen.

We call for solidarity with political prisoners and for support for them. For as long as there are political prisoners in Russia, all forms of support remain important and necessary, whether letters, donations or spreading information.

But there should not be political prisoners in Russia. They should be released as soon as possible, and their cases should be examined by impartial courts.

List of people who are recognised as political prisoners by Memorial Human Rights Centre and who were prosecuted for exercising their rights to religious freedom and religious affiliation, as of 29 October 2017

List of people who are recognised as political prisoners by Memorial Human Rights Centre (excluding those prosecuted for exercising their right to religious freedom), as of 29 October 2017

Translated by Suzanne Eade Roberts