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(en) <alter-ee> anarchist political prisoners in Russia

From Dikobraz <dikobrazi@lists.tao.ca>
Date Mon, 28 Feb 2000 15:31:36 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Letter by anarchist group Dikobraz on the "anarchist" political prisoners in

There is currently 4 known anarchist or self-declared anarchist political
prisoners in Russia. Dikobraz is a new anarchist group in Moscow, founded in
the january 2000. In the Dikobraz group we have decided to clarify the
situation with these people, and what is the "Project of opposing political
repressions in the Russia", POPR.

At first, POPR is not an anarchist initiative. It includes anarchists,
self-declared anarchists, trotskists, stalinists from Komsomol, human rights
activists from Memorial and individuals. POPR is giving material and legal
aid for political prisoners, and they also demand freedom for all political
prisoners. POPR does not only defend imprisoned anarchists, but imprisoned
komsomol members and other stalinists as well. 
Dikobraz is not participating to POPR. In another hand, we do not want to
start own campaign in the behalf of the political prisoners. This because we
are not very many, and there is already too much work in the other fields,
such as in the struggle against the Chechen war and crony capitalism of
Russia. However, we have given some financial aid and other kinds of support
to political prisoner Olga Nevskaja. Now we want to provide international
anarchist community and others we hope to have interest to defend them the
following facts about Russian political prisoners.

 All the 4 mentioned in this letter are suspected for being involved in NRA
(New Revolutionary Alternative), althought in two cases the "official"
charge is about drugs. NRA committed bomb attacks during 1998 and 1999, for
example against FSB (former KGB) office in Moscow in 13th of august 1998 and
4th of april 1999. Attacks were made in night-time, and in the latter one 2
guards were mildly injured since they felt down due to the shockwave. In NRA
claim they meant that bomb attacks were meant to protest against the
political repression. Dikobraz does not support NRA.

General information about prison conditions in Russia

Prison conditions in Russia are horrible. Prisons are seriously overcrowded,
often there is more than 3 times more prisoners than was originally planned
for the prisons. Inmates sleep in 3 shifts, rest of the time inmates spent
in area of 2-3 square metres or less which is their individual space in the
cells. State spends in average 1 rouble (3 US cents) to one prisoner
daily, thus there is not warming, no clothes and few food. Prisoners who do
not get food and clothing parcels from outside may die. High percentage,
20-25 of the prisoners has a tuberculosis, which is practically a death
sentence since the medical care is minimal.

>From the following 4 prisoners, Jakov and Olga are in the notorious FSB
prison of Lefortovo. That means they have more space than in an average
prison, but the control is also much tighter - it is impossible to send
letters or have any contact at all with the world outside. If you have
cellmates, FSB uses them to know everything you say. All four need food,
clothing and money for lawyers.

Jakov Kochkarev

Jakov was arrested in the september 1999 for cannabis posession, and soon
sentenced to a half-year sentence in a high discipline prison. Jakov has
been involved in the anti-nuclear campaign, originally he was involved in
the anarchist movement of Saratov. There is serious reasons to believe he
has been framed. He was arrested in the peak of police repression of
activists following the Krasnodar case and Moscow bombings. Police threated
some other
anti-nuclear activists in the same week by showing them joints and threating
to put them to their bags. The first lawyer of Jakov was paid by the FSB,
and thus he got a sentence which is almost impossible for first-timers in
Russia for minor possession. However, the lawyer was changed too late.
Another reason of tough sentence was the torture during the investigation
used for breaking of his morale, succesful result of which was that Jakov
did not protested against his sentence.
 Jakov was transferred to FSB prison Lefortovo in january. This was another
step in the FSB strategy to make him used as their informant in their
crackdown campaign against activism. Jakov is not capable of resisting FSB
investigators anymore because he is afraid to be transferred back to normal
prison, where he was tortured by beating and psychoactive drugs. Thus Jakov
has signed a letter in which he denies from all the kinds of aid, and gives
everyone supporting him an order to contact with his investigator from FSB.
It is impossible to know wether this letter is right or not since no direct
contact with him is possible, only through state lawyer defending him.
However, the letter means moral problems for those who want to support him.
 Jakov should be freed in march, but during his imprisonement he might have
signed numerous documents against himself and people close to him - thus it
is likely that immediately after the imprisonement he will be imprisoned
again to investigative imprisonement, which can take up to 2 years in
Russia. So there is serious doubt that FSB has planned something worse to
come to him.
You may write letters of support to adress:
Jakov Vladimirovich Kochkarev
E-20 p/ya 201
111 020 Moscow Russia

Aleksandr Biryukov

Aleksandr Biryukov is arrested by the FSB to investigative prisonement as
suspected to be one of the people behind the NRA attacks. He has remained
silent during the investigation. As far as we know he has not participated
to anarchist activity, but he defines himself as an anarchist. Aleksandr has
been recently transferred from Lefortovo to a prison hospital. In case he
will be moved back to Lefortovo his adress will be same as Olgas and Jakovs. 
Aleksandr Anatolyevch Biryukov
ul. Novoslobodskaja d. 45 Iz 48/2
103 055 Moscow Russia

Ilya Romanov

Ilya Romanov has been sentenced in the fall of 1998 for drug (cannabis)
possession. He has been given status of insane. He should have been
liberated months ago. But as in almost every country, people categoried as
insane are not protected by law, and no matter how harmless they are, they
can be imprisoned for time of any lenght for any crime they commit.
 Psychiatric commission has made a diagnosis that he is not dangerous, and
said that he can be freed - later this diagnosis was changed, most likely
because FSB ordered to do so. Ilya was active in anarchist movement of
Nizhni Novgorod and Moscow 1985-1997, since then he has been working with
trotskists and Komsomol.
You may write letters of support to adress
Ilya Eduardovich Romanov, 1967 g. r
ul. Novoslobodskaja d. 45 Iz 48/2
103 055 Moscow Russia

Olga Nevskaja

Activist of Rainbow keepers and anarchist movement1996-1998, originally from
Volshkij. She has been arrested 22th of february 2000 because she did not
had appropriate documents when she met accidentally investigator who was
familiar with her after meeting with her in the flat of former political
prisoner Larisa Schiptsova during the investigation of Krasnodar case.
Currently she is in Lefortovo. She is suspected of producing explosives and
terrorism in connection with NRA activities. Olga has claimed innocence
during the investigation this far, and she refuses from cooperation with the
Olga Aleksandrovna Nevskaja
E-20 p/ya 201
111 020 Moscow Russia


Now when you have these facts about Russian political prisoners, it is up to
you to decide if you are going to help them and in which extent - by writing
letters or by donating money. You can give donations to POPR in the name of
any of these prisoners, but remember that POPR will give only 50% of the
donation to this prisoner, and 50% to the maintenance of their work.
You may contact Dikobraz if you have something more to ask (contact in the
very end of this letter), you can also support Olga Nevskaya directly
through Dikobraz. 

Contact of POPR (in website there is for example petitions for signing):
Postal address: Russia 121471, Moscow, Gvardeyskaya ul, 1-104

Bank information:
The account for foreign currency (for citizens of the Union of Independent
States and foreign
countries it's necessary to write it fully during remittance of money):

Correspondent bank of Savings bank of the Russian Federation
Bank of New York, New York, NY, USA
Account of Savings bank of the Russian Federation with corresponding bank
Corresponding bank of Beneficiary bank
Savings bank of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia
Beneficiary bank
Savings bank of the Russian Federation, Moscow Bank, Moscow, Russia
Branch Cheryomushkinskoye branch 7980/0483, Moscow, Russia
Beneficiary customer (name, surname, address)
Model Dmitry Aleksandrovitch, Moscow, Izumrudnaya st. 11-44
Beneficiary account

Dikobraz contact:
Olga Miryasova
P. O. Box 13
109 028 Moscow
(no name of the group on envelope)

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