We call everyone who is not indifferent in different cities and countries to show solidarity with persecuted brothers Denis and Maxim Solopov, and Alexey Gaskarov. They became hostages in the course of the unbelievable story with the Khimki forest, a story of confrontation between civil society in today’s Russia and a soulless junta of avaricious corrupters. Due to this situation, the city of Khimki in the Moscow suburbs has gained a reputation beyond the borders of Russia.
Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov spent three months in prison, due to a fabricated case, which is currently collapsing in court. Investigators used threats, torture and false witnesses from amongst police agents. On the 14th of april, there will be a new court session in the Khimki city court.
Denis Solopov is a young painter, who is currently jailed in the Lukyanovka prison (Remand prison №13) in Kiev, Ukraine, where prisoners are kept in inhumane conditions. For example, they sleep in three shifts due to overcrowding of the cells. Although Denis has been approved refugee status by the UNCHR, which proves that he has a concrete basis for his appeal, the Ukrainian migration service refused him asylum. Immediately after the denial, he was arrested, which means that the migration service of Ukraine exceeded their powers, hinting to local police that Denis was at their premises. The 40 day period of preliminary arrest of Denis is due to expire on the 11th of April, after which he should be either freed, or will be arrested for the whole duration of the extradition process, which could take up to 1.5 years.
All three young men are persecuted for the claimed participation in a demonstration against the clear-cutting of a forest in the way of a new Moscow-St. Peterburg toll highway, which resulted in insignificant damage to the Khimki city administration. The action was provoked by the fact, that a subcontractor of the highway construction had hired ultra-right activists to attack the protest camp of peaceful eco-activists. This toll highway, the construction of which will obstruct the development of the current Moscow-St. Petersburg road is necessary only for a narrow group of oligarchs, corrupt officials and the top-management of the French Vinci-corporation, which won the bid for the construction. Defenders of the forest and citizen activists in Khimki are regularly attacked and illegally persecuted. Two journalists and civic activists, Mikhail Beketov and Konstantiv Beketov were seriously crippled due to attacks against them.
In various parts of Russia and whole world people are fighting for their social rights, for their real freedom, and not just for the freedom of those in power to buy and to sell. Everywhere we see the danger of the transformation of our planet into a lifeless space, but those who reach for profit are not stopped by the nuclear disaster in Japan, not by the oil catastrophe in the gulf of Mexico, not by fires in the forests of the Moscow region. But when all of us, who believe that our world is not a good for sale, are united, we will be strong. Different people from various countries and cities (from the USA to China) have organised, two times already, international days of common action, which resulted in the release of Alexey and Maxim from under arrest and the halt of the clear-cutting of the forest. The construction of the toll highway was temporarily halted as well, and most definitely new networks were formed between non-indifferent people from all around the world, bypassing borders and distances.
We understand that there is no way we can survive alone. This is why we ask everyone who is not indifferent to participate in a new week of actions from the 2nd to the 9th of April 2011. Organise actions at local embassies and consulates of Ukraine to demand the immediate release of Denis Solopov, actions at local embassies and consulates of Russia to demand that all charges against Alexey Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov be dropped and that the destruction of the Khimki forestbe halted. Organise actions against branches of the transnational Vinci corporation and demand a halt in the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway through the Khimki forest.
Our solidarity is our weapon!
We would like to ask you to please send us information about your
solidarity actions, as well as copies of letters, faxes, and media
publications to the email: email@example.com
Campaign for the Release of the Khimki Hostages