‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: Kirill Akimov is a political prisoner

21 November 2023

Kirill Akimov was convicted of ‘public incitement of terrorism’ for statements he made against the war on Ukraine in amateur radio broadcasts and sentenced to six years in a penal colony.

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’, in accordance with international standards, considers Kirill Akimov a political prisoner. Kirill Akimov was prosecuted for incitement of terrorism on account of statements he made about Putin in connection with Russia’s war against Ukraine. Kirill Akimov’s criminal prosecution violated his rights to freedom of speech and fair trial.

We demand the immediate release of Kirill Akimov and that his criminal conviction be quashed.

Who is Kirill Akimov and what are the charges against him?

Kirill Akimov is a farmer from Mordovia who used to broadcast on amateur radio using the call sign ‘Mordovian Farmer’ on the frequency 7055kHz. In his ham radio broadcasts he discussed topical issues ranging from the subtleties of beekeeping to the political situation in Russia.

The grounds for initiating criminal proceedings against Akimov were statements he made in his radio broadcasts opposing Russia’s war against Ukraine that was unleashed in February and March 2022. The exact content of these statements is unknown, but Akimov has himself said that he ‘called for a response to the aggression by the Putin regime against the people of independent Ukraine.’ The prosecutor alleged Akimov urged ‘Ukrainians and those living in Europe’ to use violence against Vladimir Putin and those who supported his policies.

On 16 June 2022, Kirill Akimov’s home was searched, he was detained and remanded in custody on charges of public incitement of terrorism (Article 205.2, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code).

On 12 April 2023, a military court sentenced Akimov to six years in a penal colony.

Why do we consider Kirill Akimov a political prisoner?

Kirill Akimov was convicted of the offence of incitement of terrorism, a charge that is increasingly being used to prosecute dissidents.

We consider that regardless of the content of Akimov’s statements, they represented a negligible danger to the general public. Claims that the opinions of a Mordovian radio ham could have a significant impact on the actions of ‘Ukrainians and people living in Europe’ are absurd.

The criminal prosecution of Akimov was selective in nature and clearly disproportionate to the degree of his public influence. In reality, he was prosecuted not on account of any danger presented by his actions, but for the very fact of publicly criticising Russia’s war against Ukraine and President Putin personally.

A detailed description of the case of Kirill Akimov and the position of the Human Rights Project are set out on our website.

Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply the project, ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.

How can you help?

You can write to Kirill Akinov at the following address: 

In Russian: 620024, г. Екатеринбург, Елизаветинское ш., д. 19, ФКУ СИЗО-5 ГУФСИН России по Свердловской области, Акимову Кириллу Вячеславовичу 1970 г. р. 

English translation: Kirill Vyacheslavovich Akimov (born 1970), Remand Prison No. 5, Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Sverdlovsk region, 19 Elizavetinskoe Shosse, Ekaterinburg, 620024, Russia. 

You can also send an electronic letter via the Zonatelekom service.

Please note that letters in languages other than Russian are highly unlikely to reach the recipient.

You can donate to support all political prisoners via our website.

Translated by Rights in Russia

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