Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the law signed by Volodymyr Zelensky on the simplified acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship for “persecuted” in Russia, statedthat in Russia nobody is persecuted for political reasons.
“There is no one in the Russian Federation who is persecuted for political reasons. There is legislation, and according to the current legislation, people are prosecuted for suspicion of committing certain crimes. But there is no political persecution in Russia, ”says Peskov.
However, data from the international human rights organization Amnesty International indicate the opposite. By today in list of personsrecognized prisoners of conscience, there are 27 people, including Boris Nemtsov and Alexei Navalny. The status of a prisoner of conscience was re-assigned to the latter after in February 2021 the organization stripped the politician of this title because of his statements, the verification of which was initiated by people close to Putin (you can also read more about this. here).
A prisoner of conscience is defined by Amnesty International as a person whose physical freedom is restricted by imprisonment or otherwise because of his political, religious or other beliefs, ethnic origin, gender, race, language, national or social origin, kinship, property status. sexual orientation and other personality characteristics. At the same time, people who resort to violence or advocate violence and enmity are not considered prisoners of conscience.
According to human rights center “Memorial”, the number of political prisoners in Russia continues to grow. Representatives of the organization talk about 420 prisoners, of whom 340 are imprisoned for religious reasons, another 80 for political reasons of a different plan. According to Sergei Davidis, a Memorial member, in reality the number of political prisoners could be much higher.
Recall that on November 11, the Prosecutor General’s Office applied to the Supreme Court demanding the liquidation of Memorial and its structural units for “systematic violations of the legislation on“ foreign agents ”. In addition, expertise discovered linguistic and psychological signs of justifying extremism and terrorism in the register of political prisoners maintained by the Memorial Human Rights Center, which is part of the International Memorial.
The organization was defended by the Council of Europe, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. And the writer Lyudmila Petrushevskaya protesting against the authorities’ desire to liquidate Memorial refused from the title of laureate of the State Prize.
The Kremlin said that the International Memorial “has had problems for a long time” with the observance of Russian legislation.