Target: United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon
Goal: Release Russian activist Mikhail Savva from illegal detainment in prison
Recently, Mikhail Savva, a Russian activist, was imprisoned on suspicion of fraud, but his public anti-government condemnations and his relationships with foreign institutions bring into question the true nature of imprisonment. The Russian government has adopted various means of silencing its opponents in the past, and this seems to be a another.
In recent weeks, Savva had been publicly denigrating the dozens of government inspections in the Krasnodar region. Many of these “inspections” were legally unprovoked, and carried out in a violent, disruptive fashion. Savva was all set to speak in depth on this subject to the Presidential Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights on April 15th, but was arrested three days before the event.
Evidence in favor of the proposed charge of fraud has yet to materialize, yet Savva remains in jail. It doesn’t take much analysis to conclude that the government had a clear incentive in silencing this man, especially prior to his mid-April meeting with the government.
Savva’s pre-trial detainment is also in clear violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Russia authorized. It states that an individual should not be detained while awaiting trial. Because of the illegality of Savva’s detainment, he should be immediately released.
As stated by Hugh Williamson of Human Rights Watch, “Throwing an activist in pretrial detention as he is raising concerns about the inspections of nongovernmental organizations raises a red flag about the motives for detaining him. The authorities’ heightened interest in Savva’s alleged foreign links also raises concerns about possible political motivations in the case.”
Sign below to show your support for Mikhail Savva, and to call for his immediate release from prison.
Dear Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
Recently, a Russian activist, Mikhail Savva, was imprisoned for a crime, of which, has yet to be scrutinized under judicial examination. He should be immediately released because pre-trial detainment is illegal under international law. We are sending this letter to you because the Russian government is far too authoritarian to consider an appeal of this sort.
This man is awaiting trial for a crime that has yet to be proven. To detain him is to convict him without inspection of the charged crime. This is evidently immoral. Please tell the Russian government to release this man from prison while he awaits trial.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: People Search