Today, even by the most conservative estimates, the number of political prisoners in Russia has pushed beyond several dozen and continues to grow. Consistent opponents of the government, as well politically active citizens and just random people have all become victims of politically motivated repressions.
Repressions and the suppression of human rights and freedoms within Russia have become the foundation of the aggressive external policies of the Russian administration.
Unfortunately, outside of Russia the level of awareness regarding political repressions, the level of solidarity with Russian political prisoners, and the scale of efforts to free them are sorely insufficient.
A targeted and coordinated unification of efforts of all of the concerned parties is needed in order to change the situation.
We, the representatives of public organizations and movements, civil activist living in Russia and various European countries, do hereby announce the creation of a Coalition in support of the victims of political repressions in Russia.
We have the following goals:
- Spreading information among the European audience regarding the political prisoners and political repressions in Russia.
- Engaging politicians, cultural and artistic personalities, individuals from broad segments of society in Europe and other regions of the world in campaigns of solidarity for the Russian political prisoners.
- Bringing the issue of political repressions in Russia as an integral part of the agenda of the relations between the European Union and Russia.
- Creation of constant pressure on the Russian government in order to free the political prisoners, revocation of unlawful repressive legislations, and termination of the practice of political repressions.
In order to achieve these goals, we believe the following most obvious steps, in particular, are necessary:
- To agree on a common understanding of the term “political prisoner” and the mechanism for forming the list of political prisoners, whom the Coalition defends.
- To create a website in a couple of different European languages with information regarding political prisoners in Russia.
- To create an institution of “mentorship” of specific political prisoners by European politicians.
- To organize cultural events to support Russian political prisoners
We invite all of you who share these goals to join us in working together.