From a Russian prison: “Give people freedom, let them be carefree”

January 11, 2019

On Saturday 19 January we will be demonstrating in London in solidarity with Russian anti-fascists, including those being incarcerated and tortured by the security services. Please come to join us – meeting at the mural in Cable Street, London E1 0BL at 2.0pm. There will also be events that day – the tenth anniversary of the notorious killing of anti-fascists Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova in Moscow – in Russia and Ukraine, and other European countries.  

Here is a message to supporters, sent to mark the new year by the imprisoned anti-fascist Viktor Filinkov, who was arrested in St Petersburg in January 2018 and tortured by officers of

Viktor Filinkov, under guard, on his way to a court appearance. Photo: Rupression

the federal security service (FSB). He and 10 others are in detention, awaiting trial on trumped-up “terrorism” charges denounced as fraudulent by human rights organisations, in the so-called “network case”. Please share and re-post.

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Viktor Filinkov wrote a letter to Grandad Frost [a Russian fairytale character, like Santa Claus] in Veliky Ustyug [where he lives, according to legend] and sent us a draft for review.

Hello, Grandad Frost!

I am writing to you from St Petersburg, from the same place where Lenin served time.

In the new year 2019, I would like you to give at least a little justice to all those in need.

Help the regional heads of Memorial, Yuri Dmitriev from Karelia and Oyub Titiyev from Chechnya. [Memorial is Russia’s largest human rights campaign organisation. Dmitriev was framed by local security services on child pornography charges. A court found him not Read the rest of this entry »

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“Electric shock is our way of doing things”

December 31, 2018

Between October 2017 and February 2018, the Russian security services tortured several Russian anarchists and anti-fascists as part of an investigation into alleged terrorism offences. As a result, eleven people in St Petersburg and Penza have been arrested and charged in the “Network” case. They are being detained awaiting trial in 2019. [There will be demonstrations to support them on Saturday 19 January (details at the end of the article).] Those tortured have spoken out about their treatment – Viktor Filinkov did so here, and others did via the rupression web site. This article by Tatyana Likhanova explains the reaction by the Russian security services and other officials. It reports on investigations into the defendants’ claims of torture by the Russian Investigative Committee, the St Petersburg Public Monitoring Commission, and the defendants’ lawyers. It was published in Novaya Gazeta, the main liberal opposition newspaper, on 16 December 2018, and also published in English in Freedom News.

“Federal Security Service [FSB] officers don’t work in those minibuses. They aren’t there. Physically.” This is how Russian president Vladimir Putin reacted to a statement by Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, that defendants in the “Network” case claim they were

Viktor Filinkov in court in St Petersburg on 11 December, when he was remanded in custody until 22 January. Photo: rupression

subjected to electric shock torture in state security service minibuses. But Putin admitted that what Fedotov had said was “really disturbing” and “that it’s absolutely impermissible”, and promised to “look into it”.

Let’s note straight away: only St Petersburg victims of the “Network” case — Viktor Filinkov; Ilya Kapustin, who was questioned about the case as a witness; and Arman Sagynbaev, who was transferred from St Petersburg to Penza after Read the rest of this entry »


Russian anti-fascists: appeal for cash

December 13, 2018

Supporters of 11 anti-fascists and anarchists facing terrorism charges in Russia have launched an appeal for cash. You can give here, via Firefund.

The money will go towards legal expenses, relatives’ travel to visit the 11, who are in detention awaiting trial, and other similar expenses. Please put a little something out of your midwinter holidays budget into this fund now!

The 11 are being detained in connection with the “network case”, which has been fabricated by the Russian security services against the activists. They have been brutally tortured in detention with electric shocks and other illegal treatment.

■ On Tuesday, a Petersburg court once again extended pre-trial detention for Viktor Filinkov, one of the 11. He will soon have been in jail for a year.

Another of the 11, Yuly Boyarshinov, last month published a graphic description of the conditions in pre-trial detention, reminiscent of a medieval dungeon. On Saturday 19 January, supporters of the 11 in the UK are organising a solidarity demonstration with the Russian anti-fascists. That will be the tenth anniversary of the assassination in Moscow of prominent anti-fascist campaigners Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova.

Viktor Filinkov arriving at a court hearing. Photo: rupression

Yuly Boyarshinov. Photo: rupression

For more information on the Network case, see:

https://rupression.com/en/

https://therussianreader.com/

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia


Russian anti-fascists under attack: solidarity demo in London

December 4, 2018

All are welcome to a solidarity demonstration with Russian anti-fascists, on Saturday 19 January, at 2.0 pm at the Cable Street mural (236 Cable Street, London E1 0BL).

The action is supported by London Anti Fascists, the Anarchist Communist Group, Feminist Fightback and Plan C London. Other organisations are welcome to add their support.

The demonstration is drawing attention to the “Network Case”, in which the Russian security services have detained and tortured anti-fascist activists.

On 29 November, two of the detainees, Dmitry Pchelintsev and Andrei Chernov, went on hunger strike, claiming that during the review of their

Cartoon by Alexei Komarov, Novaya Gazeta

criminal case file they were intimidated by prison officers and staff of the FSB (federal security services). Full report here.

The Parents Network, a support group set up by the parents of the defendants, said in a statement: “If our children have violated the law, they will answer to society to the full extent of the law. In the present circumstances, however, they are unable to answer to society. They answer to Read the rest of this entry »


London: callout for solidarity with Russian anti-fascists

November 1, 2018

We are an ad-hoc collective of anti-fascists in London who want to organise a solidarity event to support anti-fascists in Russia on 19th January 2019.

19th January is a significant day for anti-fascists and anarchists, as each year demonstrations are held to remember Russian comrades, the journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who were murdered by fascists in broad

“They’re not terrorists. The terrorists are at the FSB, and they torture people.” Participant in a picket in St Petersburg in May this year. Photo by Jenya Kulakova. Courtesy of the Russian Reader.

daylight 10 years ago, as well as other fallen comrades who were victims of fascist violence.

Markelov, an experienced lawyer and social democrat, spent years fighting for justice in workers’ struggles, environmental protests and against the violence of the Russian state. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazilians against Bolsonaro

October 28, 2018

Brazilians gathered last night in London, in front of their country’s embassy, to remember the musician Mestre Moa do Katendê, who was murdered this month.

The event was also a protest against authoritarianism and violence, and against attacks on democratic rights. “It’s a very worrying moment in Brazil”, one of the organisers told the crowd of about 200 people, during a break in the music.

Mestre Moa was reportedly killed on the night of the presidential election first round, after saying he would vote for the Workers Party. The killer, who has been arrested, was a supporter of Jair Bolsonaro – who is the front runner in the second round of the poll, being held today.

There were drums aplenty, and singing and dancing, at yesterday’s event. Leaflets were Read the rest of this entry »


Prisoners of a frack-friendly establishment

September 27, 2018

The British establishment is stepping up its deranged assault on anti-fracking protesters. How else can we interpret the 15-16 month jail sentences handed out yesterday at Preston Crown Court to three peaceful protesters?

Simon Roscoe Blevins (26), Richard Roberts (36) and Richard Loizou (31) were convicted in August of causing a public nuisance. They took part in a four-day direct action that blocked a convoy of tricks carrying drilling equipment from entering the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool, operated by Cuadrilla.

The judge, Robert Altham, made clear the political nature of his decision in court yesterday. He said he thought the three men posed a risk of reoffending, and could not

Anti-fracking protesters (l-r) Rich Loizou, Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe-Blevins, outside Preston Crown Court with supporters before sentencing

be “rehabilitated” – because “each of them remains motivated by an unswerving confidence that they are right.”

He added: “Even at their trial they felt justified by their actions. Given the disruption caused in this case, only immediate custody can achieve sufficient punishment.”

The judge’s vindictive sentencing is squarely in line with a small section of the UK Read the rest of this entry »