Former Russian Prisoners of Conscience call on AI to declare Khodorkovsky a Prisoner of Conscience


In a letter to Amnesty International, 15 Russian prisoners of conscience have asked the international human rights organization to grant this status to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. Currently considered "political prisoners", Amnesty International has confirmed it is still "reviewing" Khodorkovsky and Lebedev’s second trial ending in December 2010 before making a decision on whether to escalate their status to "Prisoners of Conscience".

This appeal follows a letter signed by 45 Russian cultural icons to Amnesty demanding the same recognition for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. Meanwhile, in its 2011 Human Rights report released earlier this month, Amnesty slammed Russia for its widespread abuse of human rights, political corruption and lack of respect for its judiciary, raising its concerns over the political motivations behind the treatment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev and their "unfair trial that was marred by procedural violations, including the harassment of witnesses and the court’s refusal to hear key defense witnesses."

The letter was signed by:

• Sergei Kovalev 
• Natalia Gorbanevskaya 
• Alexander Lavut 
• Valeria Novodvorskaya 
• Vladimir Bukovsky 
• Gleb Yakunin 
• Grigory Pasko 
• Alexander Nikitin 
• Yuri Shadrin 
• Lev Ponomarev 
• Boris Nemtsov 
• Constantine Kosyakin 
• Ilya Yashin 
• Mikhail Trepashkin 
• Igor Sutyagin

The Khodorkovsky and Lebedev Communications Center would like to thank all signatories of the latest letter as well as Amnesty International for its continuous support of the case.

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