Person of the Week: Gennady Kravtsov

posted 7 Nov 2015, 06:07 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 7 Nov 2015, 06:11 ]
On 2 November 2015 Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow) recognized radio engineer Gennady Kravtsov as a political prisoner. Gennady Kravstov was sentenced by Moscow City Court to 14 years in prison on treason charges on 21 September 2015. Gennady Kravtsov, who had earlier worked in the GRU (military intelligence) was convicted of treason for allegedly divulging state secrets when he sent his CV to a Swedish company three years previously. According to Memorial, there were a number of serious violations of fair trial during the proceedings. These included the fact that both Kravtsov and his lawyers were denied access to a number of secret documents, which Kravtsov was accused of divulging, during the investigation and the trial. Moreover, the investigation and prosecution failed to prove that Kravtsov had damaged the security of the country by divulging classified information. According to experts on military-space technology, the technical features of the space equipment that Kravtsov allegedly divulged were declassified at the beginning of the 2000s by the government organization that built it and were published in the organization’s catalogue. The equipment itself is no longer used in Russia. Memorial believes that the prosecution of Gennady Kravtsov is a consequence of conscious government policy and propaganda intended to create a war-time atmosphere in society.

Alec Luhn, writing in The Guardian on the course of th trial and its outcome, reported: 

"Kravtsov’s lawyer, Ivan Pavlov, said his client had been accused of revealing data about Tselina-2, a satellite designed for radio surveillance, as well as information about his previous position. He denied betraying any secrets. [...] In a Facebook post after Monday’s ruling, Pavlov said the defence would try to 'pull the victim out of the jaws of the leviathan' and appeal against the decision. He called the prosecution of Kravtsov part of a rising tide of 'inquisitional' state security cases that violate citizens’ right to a fair trial."

Alec Luhn also noted: "A growing number of Russians have been charged with treason since Vladimir Putin signed laws targeting 'foreign agents' and 'undesirable organisations', and relations with the west soured. [...] According to supreme court data, 15 Russians were convicted of treason in 2014, nearly four times as many as the year before, the Associated Press reported last week."

'Memorial Human Rights Centre recognizes Gennady Kravtsov as political prisoner,' in English, 2 November 2015
Alec Luhn, Russian spy jailed for treason over Swedish job letter, The Guardian, 21 September 2015