Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s wife has recently returned from Segezha colony. It was the first long date with her husband for the last five years – no windows, no telephone and strangers’ ears… A rare interview with Inna Khodorkovskaya.
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“This Christmas will be his last behind bars, after ten years of injustice, political persecution and imprisonment. We eagerly await his release next August. Russia badly needs a change of direction. It needs people of the character and calibre of Mikhail Khodorkovsky to take the country forward.” Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Lithuanian MEP, announcing her amendment to the European Parliament resolution on the state of human rights in the world, which highlighted Khosorkovsky’s imprisonment, December 11, 2013
"Of course, I believe that Khodorkovsky should not be kept in prison, and, if I had the opportunity to talk about this with Putin, I would ask him to free Khodorkovsky" Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity movement, former President of Poland and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, November 6, 2013
"Ten years ago today, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then head of the Yukos Oil Company, was arrested in Russia and charged with multiple financial crimes. Mr. Khodorkovsky and his colleague Platon Lebedev remain in jail after being convicted in 2010 on new charges. We reiterate our concerns about selective prosecution, politically motivated investigation, and lack of respect for due process rights in these cases. A number of other recent cases, including the Bolotnaya trials, also raise questions about rule of law in Russia. The United States continues to support the rights of all Russians to exercise their fundamental freedoms, regardless of their political views." The United States Department of State, in the press statement to mark ten years since the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, October 25, 2013
“Khodorkovsky has become a symbolic figure representing a different way for Russia – Russia that is moving towards the future. As Polish intellectual and journalist Adam Michnick said that the release of Khodorkovsky from prison would be like Gorbachev bringing Sakharov back from Gorky in 1986, which symbolised the opening in Russia.” Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 22, 2013
“I think that Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been very unjustly imprisoned by the Russian authorities. Not only that – they keep bringing new charges. The conduct of justice and the lack of independent judiciary, I think all points to the fact that this is a man who has not offended against the people of Russia. I would say quite the contrary – he is a political prisoner. I think anybody who studied this situation knows that. Its time he was released and Russian authorities do themselves no credit by continuing to keep him imprisoned. I have never had an opportunity to meet Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but I have a huge admiration for what he has done, because he, after all, could have left Russia at any time. He’s chosen to stay because he cares about the country. I think he has conducted himself with huge dignity. 10 years in prison for an offence that doesn’t exist is a great deal of suffering. To arrive to your 50th Birthday when you have a family outside I think is also a painful situation. I think he is brave, principled, his commitment is clearly to Russia and the people of Russia and I commend him for that and wish him well” Sir Malcolm Bruce MP, UK, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 16, 2013
“Mikhail… 10 years… I remember our remarkable meeting 10 years ago in Vilnius. You were speaking about Russia’s democratic future and you said remarkable words: ‘If one person will take a dominant position in Russia, then there won’t be any democracy.’ You also said that you are trying to help all democratic powers. I remember this conversation. It was a sunny day… Unfortunately, now you have fewer opportunities to see the sun and the sky. All these years we are thinking about you; about your struggles to make it possible for everyone to have their own opinion and different views on the future of Russia. You were envisioning Russia as non-imperialistic country that won’t be threatening its neighbours and will peacefully participate in the union with other democratic countries. We remember you and are counting days to the moment when you will be free. You can see that people on Bolotnaya Square are backing you, and growing number of Russian intellectuals and simple Russian people remember you and remember about their duty before the freedom. Freedom is close, stay strong. Here, at the European Council, we remember you and today many people in our group were raising hands in favour of sending a letter remembering your courage and expressing our support. All the best, we will meet again very soon, in freedom. Thank you” Emanuelis Zingeris, Lithuanian Member of Parliament Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 14, 2013