February 16, 2021
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
103132 Moscow, 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 arrests of mathematics students Ilya Dumanski, Alexei Piskunov, Alexander Popkovich, Pavel Tomas, Ivan Vorobjov, Danila Alenin, Nikita Nikolsky, Andrey Pereveev, Daniil Kopytov, Yuri Arutyunov, Arseniy Aristarkhov, and Alexander Gambashidze (as well as any other students that may have been arrested) for peacefully protesting the detention of Alexei Navalny.
Some were arrested on January 31st and others on February 2nd. The first three students are especially promising mathematics students with offers to attend graduate school at Stanford University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. Nevertheless, they were subjected to several nights of detention, without access to basic necessities such as food, water, and bathrooms. Additionally, they are currently being detained illegally in a facility in Sakharovo, which is supposed to be used for illegal immigrants.
We urge you to ensure that these students are treated fairly. They need to be provided with food, water, bathroom access, medical treatment, access to family, access to independent counsel, and other basic necessities. Considering the COVID-19 epidemic, the amount of time these students spend in detention should be minimal. We further urge that whatever legal proceedings are held in this case meet international standards for fair trials. If these students broke no laws, they must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Arrests of these young mathematicians have been of great concern to the scientific community and human rights organizations. They confirm a recurring pattern of detention of Russian academics and students who engage in peaceful, lawful protests. The Committee of Concerned Scientists will continue to follow their cases and demand that they are granted fundamental rights enjoyed by their colleagues in other parts of the world.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.
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