New Russian torture case provokes student anger

Hundreds of Moscow students have joined a protest campaign over the arrest and torture in detention of Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student at Moscow State University.

Miftakhov was rounded up together with ten other anarchist activists, and charged with

Azat Miftakhov. Photo from Autonomous Action / The Russian Reader

preparing explosions. (See reports in English here and here.)

Miftakhov, and Daniil Galkin, were denied access to lawyers, brutally tortured and paraded on state TV. At least ten other people were arrested.

Many people in Russia feared a new case, similar to the “Network” case, in which a group of anti-fascist activists were tortured in detention and are now awaiting trial on terror-related charges.

When Miftakhov disappeared in to the security service’s dungeons, his fellow students put together a protest letter demanding “the immediate cessation of torture”. It was signed by more than 250 teaching staff, more than 500 students in the mathematics faculty where Miftakhov is studying, and more than 800 others from other faculties and outside the university.

Here is the text of the letter. You can read – and sign – the original here.

An open letter in support of mathematician Azat Miftakhov

Multiple sources confirm that on February 1, 2019 Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student of the Moscow State University Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, was detained on suspicion of manufacturing explosives. He was tortured by the police and the Federal Security Service. According to another detainee, Daniil Galkin, by the time he got a hold of Azat, he “didn’t look like a human being” any more.

The police used torture to force a testimony out of Miftakhov. Security forces are concealing his location from his lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina; she hasn’t been able to contact him for the time being. According to the lawyer and other detainees, Azat may have tried to cut his veins as a result.

Azat has just started his mathematical career: his first mathematical paper “On weak convergence of finite-dimensional and infinite-dimensional distributions of random processes” was published in 2016.

We, the representatives of the mathematical community and ones in solidarity with them, are extremely concerned about the current situation.

We demand to know the location and health status of Azat immediately, and that he is granted access to his lawyer. We also demand instantaneous cessation of torture of Miftakhov and other detainees, as well as a transparent and fair trial.

Letter originators: Balaram Usov, Roman Krutowski, Ilya Dumansky, Rodion Deev, Konstantin Loginov, Dmitriy Korshunov, Bogdan Zavyalov, Anna Dmitrieva

Update: Azat Mivtahov has been found in the Balashikha police station in Moscow. The investigator claims he was arrested at 19:10 on February 2. Azat and his lawyer confirmed the use of torture.

Report of demonstration in London to support the “Network” case defendants

“Network” case defence campaign

The Russian Reader follows these cases




One Response to New Russian torture case provokes student anger

  1. […] Just days after the speeches featured here were delivered, the string of arrests and torture of anarchists in Russia continued. Meanwhile, the first “Network” trials approach, and solidarity and legal defense efforts are […]

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