Anti-fascists have launched an international campaign to defend Russian activists who have been arrested, tortured in detention, and charged with terrorism-related offences in the “Network” case.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that 11 people arrested in St Petersburg and Penza were part of an underground terrorist group seeking to sow disorder ahead of the 2018 Russian Presidential elections and the football World Cup.
Several of the detainees have described in detail how they were tortured by the FSB. For example, Viktor Filinkov described how he was tortured with an electric shocker after being
detained at St Petersburg Pulkovo Airport in January 2018. Filinkov stated that FSB officers put him in a minivan, and then drove him around the city while torturing him into learning a forced confession.
The quasi-official Public Monitoring Commission has compiled evidence of torture, and the issue was raised on the Kremlin’s own Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. Nevertheless, preparations for what the defendants and their families describe as a show trial continue.
On 19 January, demonstrations in solidarity with the defendants were held in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kyiv, London and other European and American cities. (Information on the London event here and here.)
On 17 January, defendant Igor Shishkin received three and a half years for participation in a terrorist organisation. Shishkin admitted his guilt and came to a pre-trial agreement with the investigation. Most other defendants have renounced their confessions, referring to the fact that they were tortured by FSB officers.
The following text, by TATYANA LIKHANOVA of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, describes the use of what appears to be an agent provocateur in the “Network” case. This agent, who attended the same sports club as one of the case’s investigators in Penza, previously gave information to Ilya Shakursky, one of the defendants, and appears to have encouraged Shakursky to take radical action. We translated it with the author’s permission.
Following the conviction of Igor Shishkin, his lawyer Dmitry Dinze published several extracts from the case materials in a Facebook post. According to this post, a certain “V.I. Kabanov Read the rest of this entry »