The campaign group in Russia supporting the “network case” defendants – antifascists arrested and tortured by the security services, some of whom are now on trial – has withdrawn some forms of support from one of the defendants, Arman Sagynbaev.
A statement on the Rupression web site said that campaigners in Russia would not collect money for Sagynbaev, or correspond with him, after the publication of a series of statements by women raped and/or violently attacked by him.
The Rupression site says that “we don’t have any reason not to believe” Sagynbaev’s victims; that he had always had “an unclear reputation”; and that campaigners thought their silence on this up to now had been a mistake. The statement added that Sagynbaev had “continued to deceive those with whom he corresponds, and to manipulate people” from jail.
It continued: “All persons involved in the [network] case are political prisoners and we have no doubts that Arman suffered from cruel FSB torture, the same way as the others. All accused without exception should be free, and those who are responsible for torture should take their places.”
The trial of the “network case” defendants in Penza is underway. On 18 November, a local news web site reported that three of them – Dmitry Pchelintsev, Maksim Ivankin and Sagynbaev – had been on hunger strike for eight days, demanding that the judge in the case made a full investigation of their allegations of torture.
On 14 November, the Media Zona, a human rights information site, reported that Viktor Filinkov, who was arrested in St Petersburg but whose case is being heard in Penza, had ended a hunger strike in hospital, to which he had been moved when his condition deteriorated.
Throughout the case, the defendants have published detailed accounts of torture by officers of the Federal Security Services, e.g. here.