Dear readers of Rupression, and all those, who support political prisoners and express solidarity with the defendants in the “Network” case:
We have been compelled to take very difficult and complex decisions, and to formulate our position on supporting the defendants [in the case], due to their conduct with respect to the criminal case or separately from it.
First of all, the Rupression group is not a fund or an organisation, but a collective that came together spontaneously. People join, and leave, get burned out and then find new strength, and, sometimes, operate at the limits of what they are capable of. This is a collective of very different people without leaders or coordinators; it is guided, above all, by solidarity and sympathy for people who are suffering repression. There are very often times when we can not rapidly take important decisions that require discussion and consensus. And furthermore, like any of you [readers], we consider it our right to give support to those who correspond with our understanding of good and evil, of morality and respect.
For a long time after the publication by Meduza [on 21 February 2020] about the disappearance and murder of [the antifascist activists] Artem Dorofeev and Yekaterina Levchenko, we sought a way to formulate our position. In our statement [of 23 February 2020] we explained why we had not published anything about this earlier, although we had suspected that some of the [“Network” case] defendants had been involved in the murders. We had tried to find proof that they had not been involved, including by sending our questions to them, in order to find out their version of events. Sad to say, we could not allay our suspicions.
We are convinced that the case of the formation of a terrorist group is founded on fabrications and on tortures; that Dmitry [Pchelintsev] and Maksim [Ivankin] have been tried unjustly; and that they are political prisoners who must be released. Moreover, Dmitry Pchelintsev was subject repeatedly to brutal torture. If you wish to support Dmitry and Maksim, information about how you can do so will be made available on the rupression.com web site.
We have stopped sending financial support to Maksim Ivankin and Dmitry Pchelintsev from September . Before this we had sent in their support 50,000 rubles each – a sum which, by our reckoning, is sufficient for the first visit of a lawyer to them in prison.
Years of imprisonment lie ahead for the defendants in the “Network” case. During the time that they are undergoing this punishment in prison colonies, support is very important. Prisoners convicted on terrorism charges, as particularly dangerous “criminals”, are always subject to especially strict “observation” by the guards, and face the constant threat of moral and physical pressure.
Funds for the other “Network” case defendants can be sent using the details on the Rupression site. [Note. Please do not send funds from outside the Russian federation.]
We will continue to communicate information about events surrounding all the “Network” case defendants.
The position of the [Rupression] group may change, if we are made aware of new factors.
■ A video call by human rights activists with Dmitry Pchelintsev is reported here.