The support group for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other defendants in the YUKOS case

     

the SOVEST group

our position

petition

we

the YUKOS case

Russia on Trial

victims

opinions

what you can do

 

 

contact us

 

Our position

 

Fellow Citizens! Friends!

 

We address this to all those who care about Russia’s present and future, our future, the future of our children and grandchildren; to all those, for whom history lessons are not boring pages of schoolbooks, but are a part of our mutual experience that  allows us to look back on what’s happening to the country and, therefore, to everyone of us, with the eyes of an insider. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, poor or rich, whether only your life depends on your choices or whether they affect the lives of many. It’s the ability to make your own decisions and bear the responsibility for them that matters. Only then will we be able to call ourselves a nation and not a mob, citizens and not slaves.

 

The last decade of the XXth century saw the birth of the foundations of Russian society. It was a difficult, and for many, painful process, because our history has made us used to living outside citizenship, outside democracy. Due to the large scale of the changes that took place in Russia this time became known as an epoch. Changes brought us political and economical rights and perspectives of building a new, flourishing society. However, among victories there were losses, too, and that’s why one cannot forget the famous sentence: ‘God bless you from living in times of changes’. Let it be a reminder for us of the tragic fates of the most active members and creators of the changes. Unfortunately, the same sad pattern is repeating itself today before our very eyes.

 

In the beginning of the XXIth century we, without, noticing it, have found ourselves in a new epoch, which became clear after the events of the 25 October and 7 December 2003. After the period of reforms and revolutions came a Thermidor, that gave birth to social stagnation; that forced away the active people, the leaders of society, the most talented and brave.

 

One of the displays of Thermidor became the attempt to terminate Yukos, one of the leading companies in Russia. The ostentatious, unmotivated arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his colleagues evokes nothing but perplexity and gives rise to doubts about further development of Russian society. Having suddenly discovered the violation of laws dating back to 5-8 years, the General Prosecutor’s Office has made it a question of its competency and impartiality.

 

Today we have again returned to times with no presumption of innocence – or how else can you regard the public regrets of Mr Kolesnikov, the Deputy General Prosecutor, that Khodorkovsky cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years; his reasoning for Khodorkovsky’s guilt lies in low wages and pensions, in the existence of orphans and teens ’who sniff glue’? These statements rouse amazement at the qualification level of the representatives of the Russian court, at the absence of their professional ethics and responsibility for their words. These accusations become even more blasphemous because they are addressed to the company, which built in the regions of its activity one of the best social infrastructures, which invests money in education, like, for example, building a school for orphan children, whose parents died while defending national interests. In this context Kolesnikov’s words sound extremely cynical.

 

This is no place for discussing the principal charges against Khodorkovsky – let us leave this matter to the courts. Unfortunately, the closed nature of the court sessions in the Khodorkovsky trial causes misgivings about the course of the main trial. The unmotivated decision to keep the accused under further arrest, public speculations about Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s guilt makes us doubt the validity of General Prosecutor’s Office’s accusations and also think about the selective application of law.

 

It’s hard to believe that in the ‘90s it was Khodorkovsky who invented some special fraud scheme to avoid paying taxes, whereas all other ‘heroes’ of privatization are innocent. We think the selective revision of the results of the privatization as a punishment for attempts to start a new, ‘transparent’ business, for creating a successful company, for announcing openly your political views and preferences, for financing the opposing parties, absolutely impermissible. We propose to begin a wide social discussion of the economical amnesty, and are sure that this kind of measures will help to get over the social disunity, will help to strengthen trust and understanding between various strata of society.

 

The result of this discussion should become an effective and a human way out of the current unlawful and unjust situation. Russian society and Russian business need a new legislation that corresponds to the new historical circumstances and that does not allow any problems with tax optimization, lobbyism and many others. We call for the dialogue between society and authority, hoping that this statement would become its modest beginning.

 

There’s no other alternative to such a dialogue, otherwise, one morning we shall wake up in a country where poverty and tyranny will be masked by justice and law.

 

Yes! – to rights! No! – to reprisals!

Freedom to Mikhail Khodorkovsky!

Freedom to press!

Freedom to business!

Freedom and democracy to Russia!

 

 

the SOVEST group

our position

petition

we

the YUKOS case

Russia on Trial

victims

opinions

what you can do

 

 

how to contact us

 

 

 

 

*    contact@sovest.org

( 7 (095722-8477  Moscow

( 8  (050)  316 -1626    Odessa

* kras58@mail.ru          Odessa

 

Sovest  ('conscience', 'integrity' in Russian),
an independent public group, was created Dec. 3, 2003,
to provide public support to the YUKOS shareholders and employees. Our principal purpose is to make the authorities respect civil rights of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and other defendants in the YUKOS case.
The main goal of the group today is to use all legal means insisting that victims of the Yukos case be released from incarceration, and to claim an impartial, open and fair trial.
The group is non-commercial and totally independent from any political or financial affiliations. All activities are conducted on a voluntary and gratuitous basis.

 

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