Back in June of this year, our Russian prisoner of conscience, Mikhail Khodorkovsky turned 50 years old. Members of Group 48 wrote birthday greetings and sent them to Mikhail in one packet. About two months later, a letter from Russia arrived in Portland addressing to Group 48. Mikhail responded to our mail! In the age of social media and mobile phones, hard copy letter writing continues to be the only way to reach prisoners of conscience in the farthest corners of the world.
AIUSA Group 48 has been working on the case of Russian prisoners, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev for almost a year. We are sending postcards and greeting cards in Russian to both prisoners every month. We thought that our hard work might have a role in the reduced sentence of Lebedev in early August. Our positive outlook was short lived. In late September, the court reversed the decision on the reduced sentence.
While Lebedev’s case went through its twist and turns, the trials and sentence of three members of the punk group Pussy Riot were attracting the world’s attention. The treatment of the musicians in court caused one of them to fall ill. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev experienced the same treatment in their trials. Click here to read Khodorkovsky’s description of his experience in details.
It is evident that the Russian authorities continue to use the same tactics of silencing Khodorkovsky and Lebedev against dissent. We need your help to seek justice for this case. Please click here to sign an online petition now.