Memorial Human Rights Centre: Viktor Korb is a victim of politically motivated prosecution

posted 2 Dec 2018, 07:49 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Dec 2018, 07:52 ]
22 November 2018

Blogger, journalist and human rights defender Viktor Korb, an opposition activist in Omsk, has been charged with ‘justifying terrorism’ for the publication of Boris Stomakhin’s closing speech at his trial. Korb has been charged under Article 205.2, Section 1, of the Russian Criminal Code (‘public incitement to carry out acts of terrorism, public justification of terrorism or propaganda of terrorism’). If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

Travel restrictions have been imposed on Korb and his name has been added to the official register of extremists and terrorists held by the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), which in practice deprives him of access to his bank account.

Viktor Korb is one of the administrators of the Patriofil website which published an audio recording and text version of Stomakhin’s final speech in court, a speech in which Stomakhin described acts of terrorism in Russia as a ‘deserved revenge.’ Stomakhin’s speech was published on Patriofil as a direct citation without any approving commentary with a view to acquainting readers with the views of the defendant as expressed in open court. Korb has consistently sought to publicise the disproportionate severity of the prosecution of Stomakhin. However, this does not mean Korb agrees with any of Stomakhin’s publications or statements.

Korb’s prosecution was initiated three years after the publication of Stomakhin’s speech, even though the publication has had no consequences dangerous to the public. This indicates a political motive for the prosecution. The FSB has sought to intimidate Korb himself, as well as other civil society activists, journalists and human rights defenders, to make them engage in greater self-censorship and restrict their own activities.

Korb is being prosecuted for the non-violent realisation of his rights to freedom of expression and publication of information, and for non-violent defence of the rights of Stomakhin by publicising his prosecution. Memorial Human Rights Centre demands an end to the criminal prosecution of Viktor Korb and his complete rehabilitation.

Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner, or of a prosecution as politically motivated, does not imply that Memorial Human Rights Centre shares or approves the individual’s views, statements or actions.

Bank account details for supporting Viktor Korb can be found here