Person of the Week: Mikhail Savva

posted 23 Feb 2015, 09:33 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Feb 2015, 12:04 ]
On 19 February 2015 human rights defender Professor Mikhail Savva announced that he had left Russia. Professor Savva, an expert on ethnic relations and migration at Kuban University, has worked as director of grant programmes for the Southern Regional Resource Center (SRRC) in Krasnodar, and also for the International Network for Ethnic Monitoring and Early Warning. He has been deputy head of the Regional Public Council on Civil Society and Human Rights and a member of the Public Oversight Commission for places of detention. On 12 April 2013 Professor Savva was remanded in custody on charges of alleged fraud, which was later changed to house arrest. On 2 April 2014, Professor Savva was convicted on charges of fraud and received a three-year suspended sentence with two years probation and a 70,000 rubles fine. On 19 February 2015 Professor Savva announced that he believed the authorities intended to bring new charges against him, which might include alleged violation of the conditions of his probation (as happened, for example, in the case of environmental activist Evgeny Vitishko), and send him to prison. He therefore decided to leave Russia. In a statement he said: "The authorities in our country are at war with its people. [...] Political prisoners in Russia are people who have been taken hostage by the regime in the course of this war." 

Front Line Defenders: 'Update: Russian Federation – Sentencing of human rights defender Mr Mikhail Savva' - See more at: 
Mikhail Savva, 'One hostage less', Website of Mikhail Savva
Mikhail Savva, 'You have one hostage less, Gentlemen!', RiR
Leonid Nikitinsky, 'The Case of Mikhail Savva', RiR, originally published in Novaya gazeta, 9 January 2014
Professor Mikhail Savva forced to leave Russia, RiR, originally published by