Aleksandr Kolchenko, a Ukrainian Ecologist, was found guilty of organizing attacks against pro-Russian organizations and conspiring to destroy a statue of Lenin. CCS is requesting that his case be reviewed and retried in a civilian court. CCS is also requesting that his well-being be assured and he have access to his attorney and his family.
October 1, 2015
Mr. Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation
23, Ilyinka Street
Dear President Putin:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are writing, at this time, out of concern for the Ecologist Aleksandr Kolchenko. Kolchenko, a citizen of the Ukraine, was arrested on May 11, 2014 by the Federal Security Service and accused of terrorist attacks and membership in Right Sector. On August 24, 2015, Kolchenko, along with other colleagues, was found guilty by a Russian military court of organizing attacks against pro-Russian organizations and conspiring to destroy a monument of Lenin in Simferopol.
Kolchenko, being a civilian, was tried in a military court instead of a civilian court as a Ukrainian. International humanitarian law requires that civilians be prosecuted in civilian courts as opposed to military ones.
We are respectfully urging you to re-open and investigate this case and ensure the case is handled consistent with Russia’s obligations under International Law; in particular, internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial in a court of proper jurisdiction and free expression. We are asking you to ensure his well being while in custody, including disclosure of his current location, legal status, access to counsel and family.
Thank you for your assistance in regard to this case. We look forward to a quick and informative response.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists