Target: John F. Tefft
Goal: Release a librarian being held as a political prisoner by the Russian government.
A librarian in Moscow was taken from her home while it was raided by Russian police. She is currently on house arrest due to signs of “Russophobia” found in her house.
Natalya Sharina, director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, was detained by Russian officials after her house was raided and investigated. According to The Moscow Times, the officials claim that Sharina showed signs of “Russophobia,” or an anti-Russian attitude, due to books and files found in her home. The claims are unfounded and show disregard for personal freedom by the Russian authorities, who are blatantly using propaganda to instill fear in their citizens. It is a form of oppression for a government to suggest that the possession of certain books or objects indicates unpatriotic views.
Memorial human rights group states there is a campaign of “criminal cases against citizens who publicly express their position on what is happening” and share views that oppose the official government account. Natalya Sharina’s arrest is just one of many attempts to silence citizens who hold views that contradict those of the government.
Demand that officials put an end to Nataya Sharina’s house arrest and drop any charges against her.
Dear Mr. Tefft,
A librarian in Russia is currently being held under house arrest after her house was raided by police. They claim to have found items in her home that suggest opposition to the government, which in itself should not be reason for arrest.
According to the Memorial human rights group, several Russian citizens are currently facing charges for expressing views that oppose the country’s political structure. Nataya Sharina’s arrest is an example of this campaign against personal freedom and expression. Spreading a fear of “Russophobia” is propaganda to push the government agenda and ensure that citizens do not feel at liberty to express their opinions.
Implications made from a person’s possessions should not be grounds for arrest. Even if Sharina owned books that expressed anti-government ideas, that does not suggest Russophobia or unpatriotic views. The accusation that she is “inciting hatred” is far fetched and groundless.
We urge you to investigate Nataya Sharina’s case and push Russian officials to release her from arrest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Department of Transportation