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Memorial Human Rights Centre publishes its lists of political prisoners


168 new names added to our listings

On 30 October, the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression, the Memorial Human Rights Centre publishes its lists of political prisoners in present-day Russia. Today these obviously incomplete lists which are in fact only a reliable minimum estimate of the scale of political repression related to deprivation of liberty contain 305 names. A year ago, there were 195 names on the lists. The real number of political prisoners and other individuals deprived of their liberty for political reasons in today's Russia is undoubtedly much higher.

Over the past year, 57 political prisoners have been released from custody or house arrest for various reasons. Over the same period, 168 new names have been added to the lists. Furthermore, dozens of individuals deprived of liberty appeared on our lists of political prisoners but later were released from custody or house arrest: some of the defendants in the Moscow case, a part of the persecuted Jehovah’s Witnesses and 24 Ukrainian sailors are among them.

Among those liberated over the past year are V. Balukh, K. Barabash, D. Bakholdin, M. Dadeu, Zh. Geriev, M. Karpyuk, S. Klykh, O. Kolchenko, S. Lytvynov, P. Miloserdov, A. Politikov, V. Prysych, S. Reznikov, I. Rudnikov, D. Safargali, M. Savostin, O. Sentsov, V. Shishkin, R. Ternovsky, O. Titiev, D. Tretyakov, M. Tsakunov, V. Tyumentsev, S. Zimovets, and others.

Some of the released prisoners fully served the unjust and unjustified punishments imposed on them by the court; some of them were sentenced to punishments that do not require removal from society or that amount to a term they had already spent in pre-trial detention. A significant number of the liberated were released as they were transferred to Ukraine in a 35-for-35 prisoner exchange between the two countries. We believe that solidarity campaigns both in and outside Russia have played a crucial role in the fate of many of the released political prisoners. Their influence was especially powerful in the cases of Oyub Titiev and Igor Rudnikov.

Over the past year, many names have been added to the lists of political prisoners: among them are those of the defendants in the Moscow case D. Beglets, N. Chirtsov, S. Fomin, Ye. Kovalenko, E. Malyshevsky, I. Podkopayev, S. Radzhabov, K. Zhukov, and Ye. Zhukov; those of opposition activists A. Barakhoyev, B. Chemurziev, M. Malsagov, I. Nalgiev, Z. Sautieva, and M. Uzhakhov accused of organising peaceful protests in Ingushetia; those of the Set case defendants Yu. Boyarshinov and V. Filinkov; those of persecuted within the Moscow Artpodgotovka case O. Dmitriev, O. Ivanov, and S. Ozerov; and those of journalist A. Gadzhiev and activists Ye. Kurakin and A. Miftakhov. Special attention should be drawn to the cases of K. Kotov, A. Dilmukhametov, and A. Shevchenko who have been victims of persecution on the basis of criminal norms that directly violate the Constitution.

The names of 142 individuals have been added to the list of those persecuted in connection with the exercise of the right to freedom of religion. Among them are Jehovah's Witnesses and peaceful Muslims, accused of participating in the Hizb ut-Tahrir al Islami party banned as a terrorist organisation, in Tablighi Jamaat and in Nurdjular declared to be extremist organisations.

We demand that the Russian authorities immediately release the political prisoners, and we call on all those who share this demand to show their solidarity with the political prisoners and support them.