Khodorkovsky Writes To Bolotnaya Square Defendants

September 11, 2013

To “Bolotnikis”

Dear friends,

I think I can understand better than many what you are feeling now, having faced our unscrupulous and ruthless “judicial and law-enforcement” system.

All of us have read detective stories and watched TV series where law prevails even if there are some sinful individuals.

I remember the thing that struck me the most: that from the very beginning the person who pretended to be a judge regarded me as a lower form of life, something like a serf or a Roman slave, whereas the “mister” in the uniform did not need to prove anything whatsoever: his words were taken at face value, while mine were just listened to with disgust with no intention to take them into consideration.

I am not even talking about such complex matters as the presumption of innocence, interpreting of any doubts in favour of the defendant, etc. “They” simply can’t care less about the law.

But at the beginning one is hurt the most by the refusal to regard you as a human being, as an equal who is telling the truth just because this is the right thing to do.

You need to live through all this and stop getting upset about it, understanding that what we deal with is not justice but a repressive machine to which we are fed as raw material. Its operator does not show up in the room, but we all know who he is.

What we can and must do is to show the people, the country that the machine has no dignity, while we do. Then sooner or later (but most likely already quite soon) the machine will be taken to spare parts – if there is anything useful in it besides the buildings.

And you will prevail, and your parents and friends, and later your children and grandchildren, will be proud of you.

Very sincerely yours,

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

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