Urge Russia to Drop Charges Against Protester


Target: President Vladimir Putin

Goal: Drop charges against Mikhail Kosenko and ensure he is not sent to a psychiatric ward

Mikhail Kosenko, one of the ten of thousands of demonstrators who protested President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration,  has been charged with mass rioting and threatening the life of an official. He has also been evaluated by psychiatrists from the Serbsky Institute and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia – a danger to himself and others. Authorities want him to remain in a psychiatric ward for treatment, but human rights activists claim that this case is wrought with corruption.

Evidence testifying that Kosenko was at the protest is vague and inconclusive. The inauguration event had scattered clashes with law enforcement, and Kosenko is one of several protesters who are being tried for the demonstration. Prosecution also aims to place him in a psychiatric ward because of his mental disabilities. While accused of hitting a police officer, testimonials from witnesses claim that Kosenko did not hit anyone, wasn’t even remembered being at the event, and only one officer could recognize him from video footage. The officer who claimed to be injured said that he did recognize Kosenko as his attacker and did not wish for him to be punished. Kosenko’s charge of mass rioting does not reflect on his actions, as Russian law dictates that mass rioting includes destruction of property and using fire arms; Kosenko did none of those things.

In 2001, Kosenko was diagnosed with mild schizophrenia, but the prosecution used this to its advantage and suggested to the judge that Kosenko was “mentally incompetent” and should be confined in a mental institution. Since his diagnosis, doctors monitored him regularly and his sister said that Kosenko willingly took his medicine and never acted aggressively. Even when he was taken into custody, Kosenko showed no signs of aggression. Even when he learned of his mother’s death through the media, Kosenko did not act out.

Imprisoning this man and sending him to a psychiatric institution is in violation of Kosenko’s rights. The Russia authorities merely wish to send him away, even if the evidence in court is lacking. Sign this petition if you wish for this man to be freed.


Dear President Vladimir Putin,

I am writing this letter to implore you to drop the charges on Mikhail Kosenko and ensure that he does not get sent to a psychiatric institute. His charges are mass rioting and threatening the life of a police officer. In his trial, the evidence presented were inconclusive. An officer stated that Kosenko was not recognized in video footage and the officer that Kosenko was accused of hitting did not recognize his attacker. That same officer also wished that Kosenko not be punished for a crime he did not commit. As for the case of his mental health, Kosenko has been diagnosed with mild schizophrenia and he has not been aggressive towards anyone during this ordeal and according to his sister, has taken his medication willingly. Kosenko also doesn’t have any police record prior to the event in Bolotnaya.

I am asking that you release him because of inconclusive evidence. It is obvious that Kosenko is not a danger to himself or the public. To place him in prison or a psychiatric ward is a severe violation of his rights.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Scray via Wikimedia

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43 Signatures

  • Alice Rim
  • sheila childs
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Mal Gaff
  • Holly Hall
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Melanie waleski
  • jeff hopkins
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