Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva, a Russian Ophthalmologist and founder of the Alliance of Doctors, a medical trade union, observed that care for patients with Covid-19 was not adequate, nor was the equipment available to healthcare professionals trying to provide the care. She began obtaining and distributing the needed equipment to healthcare providers. On April 2 she was arrested and detained overnight for doing this work. CCS has written to the President of the Russian Federation requesting protection for her and assurance that she will not be harassed nor threatened with continual arrest as she provides this valuable service.
June 24, 2020
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 9102134
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 write to express our concern over the ongoing harassment of Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva because of her work distributing medical supplies to hospitals dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and in criticizing your government’s response to the outbreak.
Anastasia Vasilyeva is an opthamologist and founder of the Alliance of Doctors, a medical trade union. She is on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak in Russia working to distribute personal protective equipment to various hospitals. On April 2, she was violently arrested and detained overnight for engaging in this work and no access to medical care or a lawyer. Additionally, Dr. Vasilyeva had a dependent minor at home.
We are concerned that our colleague, Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva, may be facing harassment, a media smear campaign, and the constant threat of arrest simply for helping medical professionals secure much needed personal protective equipment.
We write to urge you to ensure that she is treated fairly and allowed to do her work safely as an important party in the worldwide COVID-19 response.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will be closely following developments in this case and look forward to a response from you.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue. NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 1 202 298 5700 I Fax: 1 202 298 5735