Free Aleksandr Chernyshov! Statement by Perm Memorial

7 May 2023

Source: Perm Centre for Historical Memory

We, members of Memorial, consider the detention and remanding in custody of our colleague, Aleksandr Chernyshov, a long-time member of Perm Memorial and chair of the Centre of Historical Memory, unlawful illegal and demand his immediate release.

Aleksandr was arrested in the early hours of 5 May at Sheremetyevo Airport, on a plane just before departure. From the moment of his arrest until he appeared in court, he was held in the airport’s border guard premises and other security offices, which he was physically unable to leave. At the same time, according to the police report, at 1 pm in the passenger waiting room he allegedly ‘used foul language indiscriminately, was in an agitated state, waved his arms, behaved aggressively, expressed disrespect for the public, did not respond to comments.’ On the evening of the same day, the court sentenced him to 15 days in jail.

Persecution of members of Memorial began a long time ago. In particular, in April 2022, the authorities forcibly closed down Perm Memorial as a legal entity, without any explanation, and without trial, in violation of all norms of the law on non-profit organizations. But the story did not end there. In March 2023, the homes of Aleksandr and a number of other activists were searched (searches that were later described in police reports as ‘inspections’), personal equipment and documents were confiscated, and harsh interrogations were conducted. Moreover, it was unclear on what grounds.

We consider such arbitrariness on the part of those who should protect public order to be quite unacceptable and dangerous for society.

We demand that the authorities and law enforcement agencies immediately end this persecution of activists from the Perm Centre of Historical Memory and release Aleksandr Chernyshov.

Signed by:

  • Robert Latypov
  • Andrei Suslov
  • Irina Kizilova
  • Aleksndr Kalikh
  • Ramil Fatkhutdinov
  • Ivan Vasiliev
  • Dmitry Okuntsev
  • Aleksei Kamenskih
  • Sergei Trutnev

Translated by Rights in Russia

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