CCS wrote a letter to Russian president Vladimir Putin in support of Yaroslav Belousov, a political science student who was arrested in June of 2012. His trial started recently in Moscow.
According to press reports, Belusov was arrested while participating in an authorized protest demonstration. He has been in jail for a year and could be convicted of a sentence of up to 12 years. According to video of the demonstration, as reported in the New York Times, Belousov threw a lemon at an officer, rather than rocks or asphalt pieces, as is being charged. He is 21, the father of a two-year old, and had no previous criminal record.
President Vladimir Putin
Of the Russian Federation
Moscow, Russian Federation
June 12, 2013
Dear President Putin:
We are 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 write to you now in support of Yaroslav B. Belousov, a political science student, arrested in June of 2012 , whose trial started recently in Moscow.
Belousov, according to press reports, was participating in an authorized protest demonstration. He has been in jail for a year and he could be convicted of a sentence of up to 12 years. According to videos of the demonstration, as reported in the New York Times, Belousov threw a lemon at an officer, rather than rocks or asphalt pieces, as is being charged. He is 21, the father of a two-year old, and had no previous criminal record.
A lawyer representing Belousov, Dmitry V. Agranovsky, was quoted as follows: “It’s not normal or regular that these [defendants] have been held for about a year… But if the case touches on politics … then it’s normal practice to be harsher toward them.” Agranovsky said that the charges against Belousov were based on the testimony of a single police officer who claimed to be injured by a small yellow object thrown at his chest. A riot police officer is protected by a vest that cannot be penetrated easily by a lemon, Agranovsky said, and he did not believe that the officer had been injured.
We believe that the actions of the authorities are designed to deter and intimidate Belousov from engaging in protests against actions that he believes violate Russian law. His expression of opinion and the right to due process of law are guaranteed under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a signatory.
We urge you to investigate the circumstances of this cases and thoroughly address the conduct of the local authorities involved, especially the long detention without bail, and the possibility of a sentence not based on substantial evidence. Furthermore, we request that Belousov be released immediately on bail and be afforded the full complement of rights provided under the Russian judicial system and as contemplated by the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
Sincerely yours,Eugene Chudnovsky
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Mr. Chaika Yuri Yakovlevich, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation
Mr. Vladimir Lukin, Ombudsman of the Russian Federation
H.E. Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak, Embassy of the Russian Federation to the US
H.E. Ambassador Michael McFaul, US Embassy to the Russian Federation
The Hon. John F. Kerry, Secretary of State of the US
- Trial Sends Warning to Rank-and-File Putin Foes (nytimes.com)
- Russian Protesters in Action – Video Feature (nytimes.com)