Amnesty International’s Amnesia


Riot police in Moscow on 6 May

Russian human rights activist and former political prisoner, Yelena Sannikova has welcomed Amnesty International’s decision to declare Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udalltsov prisoners of conscience. She is concerned however that Amnesty International has forgotten about other people jailed for taking part in a peaceful and authorized protest on 6 May.  She names just three people who are presently imprisoned in a special holding facility at Simferopolsky Boulevard: Nadir Fattykhetdinov; Yevgeny Frumkin and Valery Kuzmenkov.  “They each received 15 days administrative arrest merely for coming out, like all of us, on the 6 May protest.

Why they were jailed she says you would have to ask the judge (assuming the latter could tell you).  She is in no doubt, however, that these three men are prisoners of conscience.

Yevgeny Frumkin has been active in civic protest since the beginning of perestroika (the second half of the 1980s).  In all weather conditions, she says, they have seen him at protests against the war in Chechnya, in defence of political prisoners, against human rights violations. He has been jailed for so-called administrative offences any number of times over the last 20 years however this is the first time, she says, that they have dared imprison him for 15 days.

Nadir Fattykhetdinov also takes active part in civic protests, rallies and pickets in defence of human rights. He often attends court hearings in solidarity with those facing politically motivated charges.

She knows the least about Valery Kuzmenkov who defended the White House in Moscow during the 1991 coup.  She is particularly scathing of the 15-day-sentence in his case. Valery Kuzmenkov had spent two sleepless nights in terrible conditions in a police station.  He began fainting in the courtroom, they took him out into the corridor where there was a bit more air. It was there that the judge proceeded to read out the sentence.

Nadir Fattykhetdinov; Yevgeny Frumkin and Valery Kuzmenkov are being held in the same detention facility as Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov. Each day between 19.00 and 21.00 single-person pickets are held outside the building.  Yelena Sannikova invites all those wishing to support the prisoners to come to Simferopolsky Boulevard.

She asks that her words be understood as a call to Amnesty International to declare Nadir Fattykhetdinov; Yevgeny Frumkin and Valery Kuzmenkov prisoners of conscience without further delay.

Abridged from the text at

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