Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Olga Romanova and Human Rights in Russia

November 10, 2017

Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks out as renowned human rights activist Olga Romanova flees Russia. 

In connection with Olga Romanova’s explanation of her reasons for leaving Russia, I believe it’s necessary to say a few things.  Olga Romanova personally, and her organisation “Jailed Russia”, are important components in the struggle for human rights in Russia.

The work that they began nine years ago helped and continues to help preserve the life and health of thousands of our fellow citizens in prison.

The position of the Federal Penitentiary Service’s leadership is well known: they are impeded by real human rights activists, the attempt to replace them with fake alternatives is absolutely unacceptable.

Provocations and the use of force against human rights activists compel me to further our individual legal prosecution of these so-called “wise men” and their accomplices.

I am prepared to offer any assistance possible to Olga Romanova in her fight against the Federal Penitentiary Service, however, it is obvious that the assistance that me and my colleagues alone can offer in assisting civil activists in the courts is not enough.

I do not know (yet) to what extent the Kremlin, Putin personally, his friends and their hired pseudo human rights activists and pseudo-prosecutors actually control Kadyrov’s death squads, torture cells and prisons.  Nevertheless, the Kremlin bears full responsibility for these scoundrels, even if it has lost control over them.

Justice has two faces: defence and punishment.  Human rights work deals with two categories: with victims, and with the executioners and their accomplices.  In working intently on the first category I have missed out the latter.  I will aim to correct this.

 

Olga Romanova, head of the “Jailed Russia” (Русь Сидящая) Human Rights Organisation, recently fled Russia after being denounced by the deputy director of the Federal Penitentiary Service. 

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