Statements of Support

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Sasi, Kimmo

Sasi, Kimmo

“I am very saddened that Mr Khodorkovsky is still in prison, 10 years after his imprisonment; this time in Karelia – close to my own country, Finland. Mr Khodorkovsky tried to reform ways of doing business – to be more transparent, open and to follow the western rules. Unfortunately his model wasn’t taken on because it has been a great advance for Russian economy – to have western economic rules for the businesses. But, I fact, his imprisonment was a political act by the Russian state. It has been discussed and decided upon in the court of human rights in Strasbourg. And the trial was catastrophic – there is a report written by former German Minister of Justice that clearly shows the problems. These problems were discussed in this Assembly. I urge that Mr Khodorkovsky is released. I think his input for the Russian society as a free man would be very useful. I think he would give new nuances for the politics and economic life in Russia. And I think Russia should indeed follow the human rights responsibilities it taken when it joined the Council of Europe, so that, there is the rule of law in the country and people are judged on their own merits. If Russia wants to develop – there must be freedom of speech and there may not be imprisonment on political grounds. I urge Russian authorities to release Mr Khodorkovsky. Thank you”

Kimmo Sasi, Member of Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Finland, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 10, 2013

Woldseth, Karin MEP

Woldseth, Karin MEP

“The Khodorkovsky case is an iconic example of what has become a systematic problem. A decade after his imprisonment, Mikhail Khodorkovsky remains the symbol of defiance and a victim of injustice.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky,

You are turning 50 this year; you will have spent 10 years behind bars as a political prisoner. This is unacceptable, particularly in a member state of the Council of Europe. I, and many others here, at the Parliamentary Assembly, continue to speak out against your on-going persecution and in favour of your freedom. As a chair of Norwegian delegation I am pleased that we were able to sponsor the Russian Visionaries exhibition which featured you and other Russia’s moral leaders. Hopefully you will soon be free and able to visit here in person, because I believe Russia and Europe will benefit from your vision of issues. I wish you good health, strength and above all freedom in this landmark year. Thank you.”

Karin Woldseth MEP, leader of the Norwegian delegation to PACE, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 2, 2013

Ashton, Catherine

Ashton, Catherine

“The Khodorkovsky case remains one of the emblematic cases that are of serious concern to the EU”

Catherine Ashton, EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy and a vice-president of the European Commission, commenting on Khodorkovsky’s decade of injustice in an answer to a written parliamentary question, October 1, 2013

Kramer, David

Kramer, David

“I think Khodorkovsky has handled his situation with tremendous grace and dignity. He is a man who was at the top of his game a decade ago – Russia’s richest man – someone who decided it was time to support civil society, even venture into some opposition activities, and he clearly crossed wires with President Putin and paid a dear price for that.

I think the fact that the European Parliament has nominated him for the Sakharov Prize speaks very highly of his image these days, at least outside of Russia. (…) I think that means it is incumbent upon all of us who have the ability to do so to bring more attention to his situation, to shed light on the fact that he has been languishing in prison for now just about a decade, has faced two cases that most people have viewed as fabricated and spurious. (…) I think it is important now, not only for the United States, but for European nations and Russians themselves, to make sure that they do everything they can to call for justice to be done and for these, I would argue, manipulated charges and convictions to be dropped”

David Kramer, President of the Freedom House, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, September 27, 2013

Buckland, Robert MP

Buckland, Robert MP

“The significance of the Khodorkovsky case is that it goes to the hearts of the integrity of judicial processes in Russia.

There are two big questions that I think Russian government is currently failing to address – a country that does not have judicial and legal processes that can be trusted is not a country that people will want to invest in, and therefore not only is this a question of fundamental human rights but it is also a question of commercial and business confidence. Russia has a huge potential to be a major player in the world economy; I believe that it’s holding itself back with examples such as the Khodorkovsky case.

The Khodorkovsky case is the case not only of domestic significance but of international importance. It is not just a question of release of one man, it is a question of not only his future treatment, but the treatment of many individuals who are either died or who are currently in detention as a result of arbitrary decisions by the Russian government”

Robert Buckland MP, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, September 20, 2013

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International Bar Association Human Rights Institute

International Bar Association Human Rights Institute

“[T]his trial was not fair”

International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, September 2011

Amnesty International

Amnesty International

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev’s first convictions there can no longer be any doubt that their second trial was deeply flawed and politically motivated. (…) For several years now these two men have been trapped in a judicial vortex that answers to political not legal considerations. Today’s verdict makes it clear that Russia’s lower courts are unable, or unwilling, to deliver justice in their cases”

Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Director of Amnesty International, May 2011

Amnesty International Germany

Amnesty International Germany

“Eight years after his arrest Mikhail Khodorkovsky has served the prison sentence of his first trial. He must therefore be released. The same applies to his former business partner Lebedev”. “The allegations of the charges in the second trial are incomprehensible in the context of his first conviction. This true regardless of whether one considers the criminal charges from the first trial valid. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev did not have a far trial. There are strong indications that this trial was politically motivated”

Peter Franck, Russia expert, Amnesty International Germany, October 25, 2010

American Enterprise Institute

American Enterprise Institute

“Medvedev’s equivalents might include an unconditional pardon for the former leading Russian entrepreneur Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is facing a kangaroo court’s sentence of up to 22 years in jail”

Leon Aron, Director of Russian Studies, American Enterprise Institute, October 2010

Heritage Foundation

Heritage Foundation

“Khodorkovsky’s plight symbolizes what’s wrong with Russia’s necrotic ‘justice’ system”

Ariel Cohen, Senior Research fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy at the Davis Institute for International Policy at The Heritage Foundation, October 2010

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U.S. State Department

U.S. State Department

“What will Russia do to build an independent judiciary, when those responsible for the death of young lawyers like Sergey Magnitsky are rewarded instead of being held to account? When businessmen like Mikhail Khodorkovskiy remain in prison, denied basic due process under the law?”

William Burns, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, April 2011

Kouchner, Bernard

Kouchner, Bernard

“As you know, France closely watches this second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, whom verdict should be announced beginning December 15th. We had insisted about this again very recently, last October 6th, when Bernard Kouchner had a meeting with the former Prime Minister of Russia, M. Kasyanov. We are aware of the importance of this trial, especially for those who defend Human Rights, in Russia and outside Russia, and for all of those who are attached to the principles of Rule of Law”

Official Spokesperson (DCP) on behalf of French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, November 2010

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“This case is closely followed by the highest authorities in France. (…) What seemed to be, years ago, a case based on complex economic matters turned into a major human rights trial. (…) The fight of MBK, courageous, with a great dignity, against a system that tries without success to destroy him, made him become a symbol, an icon of human rights in Russia. (…) France always support people who resist in front of a system that tries to break them”

François Zimeray, human rights ambassador for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, August 2010

European Parliament

European Parliament

“The European Parliament urges the Council and Commission to pay the utmost attention to the ongoing second trial of former Yukos Oil chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which is already replete with severe due process violations; calls on the Russian authorities to combat arbitrariness, to respect the rule of law and not to use the judiciary as a political tool”

European Parliament resolution on the preparations for the EU-Russia Summit in Stockholm, November 18, 2009

Clinton, Hillary U.S. Secretary of State

Clinton, Hillary U.S. Secretary of State

“I think that all these problems – imprisonment [of Khodorkovsky], beatings, and murders in Russia – are damaging to the image of the country abroad. In all countries there are criminals and people who abuse their authority. During the last 18 months, however, and even before that, there have been too many such incidents in Russia”

Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, October 2009

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Zingeris, Emanuelis

Zingeris, Emanuelis

“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

Sasi, Kimmo

Sasi, Kimmo

“I am very saddened that Mr Khodorkovsky is still in prison, 10 years after his imprisonment; this time in Karelia – close to my own country, Finland. Mr Khodorkovsky tried to reform ways of doing business – to be more transparent, open and to follow the western rules. Unfortunately his model wasn’t taken on because it has been a great advance for Russian economy – to have western economic rules for the businesses. But, I fact, his imprisonment was a political act by the Russian state. It has been discussed and decided upon in the court of human rights in Strasbourg. And the trial was catastrophic – there is a report written by former German Minister of Justice that clearly shows the problems. These problems were discussed in this Assembly. I urge that Mr Khodorkovsky is released. I think his input for the Russian society as a free man would be very useful. I think he would give new nuances for the politics and economic life in Russia. And I think Russia should indeed follow the human rights responsibilities it taken when it joined the Council of Europe, so that, there is the rule of law in the country and people are judged on their own merits. If Russia wants to develop – there must be freedom of speech and there may not be imprisonment on political grounds. I urge Russian authorities to release Mr Khodorkovsky. Thank you”

Kimmo Sasi, Member of Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Finland, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 10, 2013

Woldseth, Karin MEP

Woldseth, Karin MEP

“The Khodorkovsky case is an iconic example of what has become a systematic problem. A decade after his imprisonment, Mikhail Khodorkovsky remains the symbol of defiance and a victim of injustice.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky,

You are turning 50 this year; you will have spent 10 years behind bars as a political prisoner. This is unacceptable, particularly in a member state of the Council of Europe. I, and many others here, at the Parliamentary Assembly, continue to speak out against your on-going persecution and in favour of your freedom. As a chair of Norwegian delegation I am pleased that we were able to sponsor the Russian Visionaries exhibition which featured you and other Russia’s moral leaders. Hopefully you will soon be free and able to visit here in person, because I believe Russia and Europe will benefit from your vision of issues. I wish you good health, strength and above all freedom in this landmark year. Thank you.”

Karin Woldseth MEP, leader of the Norwegian delegation to PACE, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 2, 2013

Ashton, Catherine

Ashton, Catherine

“The Khodorkovsky case remains one of the emblematic cases that are of serious concern to the EU”

Catherine Ashton, EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy and a vice-president of the European Commission, commenting on Khodorkovsky’s decade of injustice in an answer to a written parliamentary question, October 1, 2013

Kramer, David

Kramer, David

“I think Khodorkovsky has handled his situation with tremendous grace and dignity. He is a man who was at the top of his game a decade ago – Russia’s richest man – someone who decided it was time to support civil society, even venture into some opposition activities, and he clearly crossed wires with President Putin and paid a dear price for that.

I think the fact that the European Parliament has nominated him for the Sakharov Prize speaks very highly of his image these days, at least outside of Russia. (…) I think that means it is incumbent upon all of us who have the ability to do so to bring more attention to his situation, to shed light on the fact that he has been languishing in prison for now just about a decade, has faced two cases that most people have viewed as fabricated and spurious. (…) I think it is important now, not only for the United States, but for European nations and Russians themselves, to make sure that they do everything they can to call for justice to be done and for these, I would argue, manipulated charges and convictions to be dropped”

David Kramer, President of the Freedom House, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, September 27, 2013

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All
Zingeris, Emanuelis

Zingeris, Emanuelis

“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

Sasi, Kimmo

Sasi, Kimmo

“I am very saddened that Mr Khodorkovsky is still in prison, 10 years after his imprisonment; this time in Karelia – close to my own country, Finland. Mr Khodorkovsky tried to reform ways of doing business – to be more transparent, open and to follow the western rules. Unfortunately his model wasn’t taken on because it has been a great advance for Russian economy – to have western economic rules for the businesses. But, I fact, his imprisonment was a political act by the Russian state. It has been discussed and decided upon in the court of human rights in Strasbourg. And the trial was catastrophic – there is a report written by former German Minister of Justice that clearly shows the problems. These problems were discussed in this Assembly. I urge that Mr Khodorkovsky is released. I think his input for the Russian society as a free man would be very useful. I think he would give new nuances for the politics and economic life in Russia. And I think Russia should indeed follow the human rights responsibilities it taken when it joined the Council of Europe, so that, there is the rule of law in the country and people are judged on their own merits. If Russia wants to develop – there must be freedom of speech and there may not be imprisonment on political grounds. I urge Russian authorities to release Mr Khodorkovsky. Thank you”

Kimmo Sasi, Member of Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Finland, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 10, 2013

Woldseth, Karin MEP

Woldseth, Karin MEP

“The Khodorkovsky case is an iconic example of what has become a systematic problem. A decade after his imprisonment, Mikhail Khodorkovsky remains the symbol of defiance and a victim of injustice.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky,

You are turning 50 this year; you will have spent 10 years behind bars as a political prisoner. This is unacceptable, particularly in a member state of the Council of Europe. I, and many others here, at the Parliamentary Assembly, continue to speak out against your on-going persecution and in favour of your freedom. As a chair of Norwegian delegation I am pleased that we were able to sponsor the Russian Visionaries exhibition which featured you and other Russia’s moral leaders. Hopefully you will soon be free and able to visit here in person, because I believe Russia and Europe will benefit from your vision of issues. I wish you good health, strength and above all freedom in this landmark year. Thank you.”

Karin Woldseth MEP, leader of the Norwegian delegation to PACE, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 2, 2013

Ashton, Catherine

Ashton, Catherine

“The Khodorkovsky case remains one of the emblematic cases that are of serious concern to the EU”

Catherine Ashton, EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy and a vice-president of the European Commission, commenting on Khodorkovsky’s decade of injustice in an answer to a written parliamentary question, October 1, 2013

Kramer, David

Kramer, David

“I think Khodorkovsky has handled his situation with tremendous grace and dignity. He is a man who was at the top of his game a decade ago – Russia’s richest man – someone who decided it was time to support civil society, even venture into some opposition activities, and he clearly crossed wires with President Putin and paid a dear price for that.

I think the fact that the European Parliament has nominated him for the Sakharov Prize speaks very highly of his image these days, at least outside of Russia. (…) I think that means it is incumbent upon all of us who have the ability to do so to bring more attention to his situation, to shed light on the fact that he has been languishing in prison for now just about a decade, has faced two cases that most people have viewed as fabricated and spurious. (…) I think it is important now, not only for the United States, but for European nations and Russians themselves, to make sure that they do everything they can to call for justice to be done and for these, I would argue, manipulated charges and convictions to be dropped”

David Kramer, President of the Freedom House, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, September 27, 2013