Thursday, May 09, 2013

Alexey Gaskarov, 6 May hostage of Putin's government.

My friend, antifascist and activist Alexey Gaskarov was arrested a week and a half ago in Russia, in our home city Zhukovsky. He is arrested in connection with Bolotnaya square case, that is now under international investigation that will "evaluate the events from the point of view of human rights observance, accordance of Russian legal norms to the international standards and with taking into account the existing law-enforcement practices in Russia." The case now counts 28 political prisoners, where most of the prisoners are accused of violent disorder. This 28 include students, professors, activists, young kids, and many people of my generation.
The Bolotnaya square case started a year ago on a 6 May Demonstration, that was a big protest rally opposing the inaugration on Vladimir Putin as a president of Russia. I went there too, together with all Zhukovsky "Save Tsagovky forest campaign" and Alexey Gaskarov. I am really outraged that a witness claims given by a riot police officer, known to lie in court before is taken seriously by Russian court that now locked Alexey for 2 month on remand.

Last year during the Bolotnaya square on the 6 may, Alexey was seriously beaten-up by the police  and I have witnessed injuries he suffered there. Also there are several on-line videos that show riot officers kicking him in the head. (Police there is a bit more ruthless and criminal than on the West.) Despite that horror of violence on Bolotnaya square is behind, there is new moment of violence facing Alexey. Horror of Russian prison. Of course he is not new to it, as he already had his time on trial, and was proved innocent of organising violent disorder two years ago. This case happened in  connection with forest defence campaign in Khimki, Moscow region town. Then he was supported internationally by antifascist movement and many many different indifferent people in Russia. This is what is starting to happen now again, and we try to campaign as much as we can, internationally for the freedom of Alexey and other 6 May hostages. We know there must be a place for justice in Russia. There is no more demand than for the Russian juridical system to prosecute criminals not those who are innocent.

I really hope Alexey is going to be free very soon. He would be where he deserves to be - with his family, with his lovely fiancée, with his comrades, in the city that needs him.  Our grassroots movement of people of Zhukovsky that I totally identify myself with  and support really suffers seeing its active participant being dragged into this horror of Putin's repressions.

For more information on Bolotnaya square international investigation:
Miriam Elder's article in the Guardian about Bolotnaya protest 
Follow the case of Gaskarov on (mostly Russian) twitter @gaskarov_info 
I also twitt on Gaskarov's case a lot @electrovolk 

If you want more information or would like to offer help you can either use any of those resources, or contact me.

At the 6 May solidarity picket in London.

Free Alexey Gaskarov!