As reported by the mass media in 2002, the citizens of Ukraine and Russia, Yakovenko, Gerasimov, Berdyugin, Zinchenko, Alekseev, Polskaya, Romanov, Plevo, Danilov and Smirnov were arrested and were given long sentences due to the so called Odessian case Number 144. They were indicted for alleged crimes against the constitutional order of Ukraine, and also for terrorism. The comrades mentioned above always were open about their anti-capitalist and revolutionary convictions.
This gives us all the grounds to consider this trial in Ukraine as political.
With the purpose of getting a confession, these comrades were subjected to brutal torture and demeaning aggravation. As a result of the injuries, a 20 year-old student, Sergey Berdyugin died. The rest of those arrested suffered injuries of various severities. This was covered by the mass media, including “Proletarskaya Gazeta” N21 (2003) and N23 (2004).
During the judicial process in 2003 and 2004, the citizens of Russia Danilov, Smirnov, Plevo and Romanov were visited by officials of the Russian Federal Service of Security and the Prosecutor’s office of Moscow (in particular Lisitsin, Fomin and Naidyonov). These tried to get a confession by means of threats and violence. After their visit Smirnov, Danilov and Romanov issued a statement to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine with the demand to investigate the Russian officials for torture but they did not get any response. On February 18th 2008 Smirnov filed a lawsuit at the Kharkov local administrative court (affair 2a-3326/08) for the lack of action of the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine with regards to the statement issued by the political prisoners, but it was forwarded to Russia before it was examined.
These facts give us the grounds to state that we are dealing here with a political retribution, i.e. class vengeance from the side of the Russian and Ukrainian ruling bourgeoisies.
On March 25th 2009 prisoners Danilov and Smirnov were extradited to Russia without the right of appeal and were transferred “temporarily” to the Russian authorities. In order to obstruct the work of the defense they were placed in different detention centers: Smirnov in detention unit N2 and (“Butyrka”) and Danilov in detention union N5. The decision of the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine to extradite them is a gross violation of the European Convention on the extradition of inmates accused of political crimes, adopted on 21/03/83 by which extradition should not be practiced if there are grounds to suspect retributions.
Danilov and Smirnov are not allowed to meet with their relatives, representatives of human rights organizations, and their right to a defense is violated; this gives us grounds to believe that they are being subjected to torture and other forms of cruel treatment.
We believe that the Russian bourgeoisie is de facto preparing a political process under the disguise of a criminal prosecution with the purpose of discrediting in the eyes of the public the revolutionary class struggle and the communist movement, in order to divert the struggle of the proletariat and the revolutionary class struggle towards the path of opportunism, in order to inculcate distrust in the communist movement and to put the struggle of the oppressed masses under the control of today’s revisionists.
We call on the proletariat and the progressive forces of all countries to defend the Russian and Ukrainian political prisoners.
We demand the immediate release of political prisoners sentences in the so-called Odessian affair N144,
We demand that the Russian and Ukrainian authorities investigate thoroughly the instances of torture and aggravation inflicted on the political prisoners and to severely punish those who were directly involved and those responsible for these despicable crimes,
We demand that the Russian authorities drop the new criminal prosecution against Danilov and Smirnov.
Anatoliy Pyzhov – Secretary of international relations of the Executive committee of the Inter-regional Association of Workers Unions of Russia “Zaschita”
Andrey Drozdov – Chief editor of “Proletarskaya Gazeta”
Leningrad, April 26th 2009
Contact postal addresses:
1) 103009, Moscow, Okhotny Ryad street, Dom 1, State Duma of Russia. State Duma MP, co-chair of “Zaschita” – Shein, Oleg Vasilevitch
2) 190121, Lenigrad, Angliski Prospekt, dom 22, kv 53 – Pyzhov Anatolii Vasilevitch