Sunday, October 17, 2010

12 to 15 of November 2010: The new Days of Action for the final and unconditional liberation of the Khimki hostages: Aleksei Gaskarov and Maxim Solo

On the 27th and 28th of September new court sessions were held where the
question of freeing Aleksei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, arrested on the 28th
of July 2010, was dealt with. Shutting their eyes to the lack of evidence,
turning their backs on public and international support for the detainees,
described as “pressure on the court” by the prosecution, the Khimki judges
prolonged the detention of the two social activists for two more months. In
order to leave the hostages in prison the judges violated the assumption of
innocence while the investigation obtained confessions by force from
hundreds of arrested and persecuted individuals. However, it is not so easy
to transform innocent militants into “organized criminals” It’s impossible to
cover up the illegal destruction of the forest and the repression against its
defenders with the wheeling and dealing of false justice. The injustice of
the decision to prolong the detention is clear. The unlawfulness of the case
strikes even those paying attention the least.

On the 8th of October the regional court of Moscow confirmed the illegality of
the prolongation of the detention of Maxim Solopov. The city court of Khimki
has till the 20th of October to reexamine the matter of his detention till
the end of the investigation. On the 15th of October the regional court of
Moscow will examin the legality of the prolongation of the detention of
Aleksei Gaskarov. There is a hope that the preventive detention of Aleksei
will also undergo reexamination. However, this does not signify the end of
the proceedings against the two militants. The judges in Khimki have shown us
in two rounds that we should not count on their commitment to the law or
common sense. The decision of the high court is not the end of the battle,
but a sign to organize more solidarity actions. In order to influence the
legal decision it is necessary to preserve our determination and continue our
actions. We demand the closing of the case against Aleksei and Maxim and the
withdrawal of false accusations! In this situation not acting means the tacit
acceptance of the abuses perpetuated by the police and judges.

What we call for:

1. Organizing, during the days of action from the 12th to the 15th of November
2010, actions impacting official political and cultural events organized by
the Russian authorities, as well as in front of embassies and consulates of
the Russian Federation, demanding meetings with official representatives and
pass them petitions.

2. Sending faxes to the Khimki city court (+7-495-572-83-14), to the
prosecuter’s office in the Moscow region (+7-495-621-50-06) and the president
of the Russian Federation (+7-495-606-24-64)demanding the closing of the
case and the withdrawal of all charges brought against Aleksei Gaskarov and
Maxim Solopov.

3. Continue sending requests to international organisations: the European
Counsel, the European Parliament, the United Nations and other structures,
the address of which can be found:

4. Arrange publications in mass and local media, articles on the Khimki
hostages in order to inform the public about the new threats on rights and
freedom, invite people to participate in solidarity actions to support
Aleksei and Maxim and demand the closing of the case fabricated against them.

We would like to ask you to please send us information about your solidarity
actions, as well as copies of letters, faxes, and media publications to the

It does not matter if you agree or not with acts of civil disobedience such as
the spontaneous manifestations on the 28th of July 2010 in front of the city
hall of Khimki. What is important is remembering that a true crime has been
perpetuated, for three months, against two young people – Aleksei and
Maxim. They were arrested, not due to the action, but because they were known

both as active participants in public initiatives, and by the police. They
were locked up in order to scare all the others: defenders of the forest,
journalists, antifascists, all worried, but ready to continue to act despite
all. All the evidences and confessions against Maxim and Aleksei have been
falsified for the investigation. They have been held hostage so that the
greedy construction companies could finish destroying the forest in peace,
make a profit, and at the same time, to show us “who’s in charge here” This
is unacceptable. Let’s do this together, let’s show that what’s most
important is our voice, justice and international human solidarity! You can
follow regular updates and news on the Campaign for the Freedom of the Khimki


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