France Info: In Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky writes from his prison cell

Posted on March 17, 2013

Boris Durande, a spokesperson for Mikhail Khodorkovsky in France, was featured on radio channel France Info as part of the weekly chronicle XXI to discuss the “Prison’s People” series of articles by Khodorkovsky published in their last magazine.

Durande says that Khodorkovsky’s prison writings have been done in the tradition of “opponents, dissidents and intellectiuals like Dostoyevsky or Solzhenitsyn,” who began writing their memories and feelings about the prison experience.

Segezha, where Khodorkovsky is currently being held, “is a former gulag which hasn’t changed much since Stalin,” says Durande, however he notes that Khodorkovsky is “physically and intellectually in excellent shape.”

Although Khodorkovsky is scheduled to be released in October of 2014, Durande comments, “In Russia, you never know. There is no rule of law and justice only does what it is asked to do by the executive.”

Below are the recording and text from the interview broadcast by France-Info.

La rubrique “vécu” du numéro de la revue XXI en ce moment en librairie est un recueil de témoignages de Mikhaïl Khodorkovski. L’ancien PDG du groupe Ioukos est emprisonné en Russie depuis 2004. Son porte-parole en France est l’invité de France Info.

Alors qu’il entame sa 10e année de détention, Mikhaïl Khodorkovski continue de publier régulièrement des chroniques dans l’hebdomadaire russe The New Times. De sa prison, il témoigne, raconte son quotidien, celui de ses codétenus, les arrestations arbitraires, les procès bâclés, la solidarité entre prisonniers.

“Il va bien, il est en bonne forme physique” raconte son porte-parole en France, Boris Durande. “Il a une demi-heure par jour pour écrire”. Mikhaïl Khodorkovski est censé être libre en octobre 2014. Mais, souligne son porte-parole, “il n’y a pas d’état de droit en Russie, et aucune assurance qu’il soit libéré à la fin de sa peine”.