Sunday, March 27, 2011

A call to a week of common actions to defend the Khimki hostages from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2011

We call everyone, who is not indifferent, in different cities and
countries to show solidarity with persecuted brothers Denis and Maxim
Solopov, and Alexey Gaskarov. They became hostages in the course of the
unbelievable story with the Khimki forest, a story of confrontation
between civil society in today's Russia and a soulless junta of
avaricious corrupters. Due to this situation, the city of Khimki in the
Moscow suburbs has gained a reputation beyond the borders of Russia.

Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov spent three months in prison, due to a
fabricated case, which is currently collapsing in court. Investigators
used threats, torture and false witnesses from amongst police agents. On
the 14th of april, there will be a new court session in the Khimki city

Denis Solopov is a young painter, who is currently jailed in the
Lukyanovka prison (Remand prison №13) in Kiev, Ukraine, where prisoners
are kept in inhumane conditions. For example, they sleep in three shifts
due to overcrowding of the cells. Although Denis has been approved
refugee status by the UNCHR, which proves that he has a concrete basis
for his appeal, the Ukrainian migration service refused him asylum.
Immediately after the denial, he was arrested, which means that the
migration service of Ukraine exceeded their powers, hinting to local
police that Denis was at their premises. The 40 day period of
preliminary arrest of Denis is due to expire on the 11th of April, after
which he should be either freed, or will be arrested for the whole
duration of the extradition process, which could take up to 1.5 years.

All three young men are persecuted for the claimed participation in a
demonstration against the clear-cutting of a forest in the way of a new
Moscow-St. Peterburg toll highway, which resulted in insignificant
damage to the Khimki city administration. The action was provoked by the
fact, that a subcontractor of the highway construction had hired
ultra-right activists to attack the protest camp of peaceful
eco-activists. This toll highway, the construction of which will
obstruct the development of the current Moscow-St. Petersburg road is
necessary only for a narrow group of oligarchs, corrupt officials and
the top-management of the French Vinci-corporation, which won the bid
for the construction. Defenders of the forest and citizen activists in
Khimki are regularly attacked and illegally persecuted. Two journalists
and civic activists, Mikhail Beketov and Konstantiv Beketov were
seriously crippled due to attacks against them.

In various parts of Russia and whole world people are fighting for their
social rights, for their real freedom, and not just for the freedom of
those in power to buy and to sell. Everywhere we see the danger of the
transformation of our planet into a lifeless space, but those who reach
for profit are not stopped by the nuclear disaster in Japan, not by the
oil catastrophe in the gulf of Mexico, not by fires in the forests of
the Moscow region. But when all of us, who believe that our world is not
a good for sale, are united, we will be strong. Different people from
various countries and cities (from the USA to China) have organised, two
times already, international days of common action, which resulted in
the release of Alexey and Maxim from under arrest and the halt of the
clear-cutting of the forest. The construction of the toll highway was
temporarily halted as well, and most definitely new networks were formed
between non-indifferent people from all around the world, bypassing
borders and distances.

We understand, that there is no way we can survive alone. This is why we
ask everyone, who is not indifferent, to participate in a new week of
actions from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2011. Organise actions at local
embassies and consulates of Ukraine to demand the immediate release of
Denis Solopov, actions at local embassies and consulates of Russia to
demand that all charges against Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov be
dropped and that the destruction of the Khimki forestbe halted. Organise
actions against branches of the transnational Vinci corporation and
demand a halt in the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll
highway through the Khimki forest.

Our solidarity is our weapon!

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 email:

Additional information:
Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages


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