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Persecuting Khodorkovsky, the authorities are destroying a lyceum for orphans

07.05.2006 |

Russian human activists are calling for help to protect a children’s home and lyceum founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the estate “Korallovo”. The Executive Director of the movement “For Human Rights”, Lev Ponomaryov, stated on radio “Echo Moskvy” today that signatures are being collected on a  petition in defence of the lyceum.

The petition includes the following:

The war which the state is waging against Khodorkovsky is placing the very existence of a model children’s institution in jeopardy and is shattering the lives of children who have become the victims of politics.


"We wish to bring the situation involving the lyceum under public protection and are collecting signatures from people who would be willing to take on such responsibility”, Ponomaryov explains. He adds that human rights activists want to sort out the legal side of the situation which has arisen around the lyceum and in future to keep an eye of the fate of the institution.

"We suspect that this is a continuation of the settling of political accounts with Khodorkovsky".

The appeal has been signed by Andrei Sakharov’s widow, Yelena Bonner, renowned human rights activist Sergei Kovalyov, the Executive Director of the All-Russian Movement “For Human Rights”, Lev Ponomaryov, the Director of the Andrei Sakharov Museum Yury Samodurov and the Head of the Committee for Freedom of Conscience, Gleb Yakunin.

Yesterday the Prosecutor General arrested the property of the lyceum. The previous day, Investigator from the Prosecutor General’s office, Isakov, had presented a protocol on the arrest of the buildings and land of the lyceum “Podmoskovny” in Korallovo. The Prosecutor General has thus taken out an injunction on the property and land.

There is no indication on the protocol as to which court ruling it is based on. It also remains unclear what the investigative actions are within the framework of which the lyceum’s property has been arrested. The

lyceum “Podmoskovny” was built by Mikhail Khodorkovsky  12 years ago. The children at the lyceum are orphans, children of military men killed in action, children from broken or underprivileged families, as well as children who survived Beslan and “Nord Ost”. The Lyceum is managed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s parents.

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