Russian Public Action: “Civic society must save the childrens home “Podmoskovny”
11 May 2006 The public action “Save the childrens home and lyceum “Podmoskovny” is continuing. Human rights activists, trade union and public figures, as well as politicians from both the left and the right, have come out with a united message of protest against the attack by the Russian Prosecutor General on the childrens home and lyceum in Korallova. The home was founded by political prisoner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and has been managed by his parents.
Those supporting the appeal are calling for the establishment of a form of public guardianship of the childrens home, and for the public to come to the defence of orphans who have become hostages in the war waged by the Kremlin against Khodorkovsky and YUKOS.
The text of the appeal from 10 May (address for adding your signature below)
“Civic society must save the childrens home and lyceum “Podmoskovny”
The Prosecutor General has, without any explanation, placed an injunction on the buildings of the childrens home and lyceum “Podmoskovny” at the estate “Koralovo” (Odintsovsky district of the Moscow region). The only apparent reasons for this would seem to be the wish to hit out at the parents of political prisoner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who have been looking after the Lyceum.
The lyceum “Podmoskovny” was founded in 1994 at the initiative of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his parents. The founders father, Boris Khodorkovsky, runs the lyceum, while his mother, Marina Khodorkovskaya, is on the Trustee Council of the Lyceum. They live on the grounds of the lyceum.
The estate “Koralovo” is a unique nongovernmental childrens home. Classes are held from the sixth to the eleventh grades. At the present time there are about 150 children and teenagers living and studying at the lyceum “Podmoskovny”. These include the children of people who were killed in the terrorist act in Kaspiysk on 9 May 2002, children orphaned as a result of the hostage siege at “Nord Ost” in Moscow on 26 October 2002, and children who survived the siege of their school in Beslan from 1 – 3 September 2004.
The war which the state is waging against Khodorkovsky is placing the very existence of a model childrens institution in jeopardy and is shattering the lives of children who have become the victims of politics.
We call on the Russian public, on the Russian intelligentsia, to come to the defence of the Lyceum “Podmoskovny” and to establish public guardianship over the lyceum and defend these orphans.
Ludmila Alexeeva, Chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group
Yelena Bonner, human rights activist
Lev Ponomaryov, The All-Russian movement “For human rights”
Yury Samodurov, the Andrei Sakharov Museum and public centre “Peace, progress and human rights”
Father Gleb Yakunin, Committee for the defence of freedom of conscience
Ella Kesayeva, “Golos Beslan” [“Voice of Beslan”]
Gary Kasparov, United Civil Front
and many others (the list can be seen at : http://www.hro.org/child/2006/05/11-1.phpIf you would like to sign, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org