‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: Gaziz Davletbaev is a political prisoner

2 February 2024

Gaziz Davletbaev, a resident of Magnitogorsk, is being prosecuted on charges of justification of terrorism for a post on the VK social media site

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ in accordance with international standards, considers Gaziz Davletbaev a political prisoner. Davletbaev is being prosecuted on charges of justification of terrorism for a publication on the Internet; his prosecution violates his rights to freedom of expression and fair trial.

We demand the immediate release of Gaziz Davletbaev from custody and that all criminal charges against him be dropped.

What are the charges against Gaziz Davletbaev?

In July 2022, Gaziz Davletbaev, a truck driver from Magnitogorsk, was fined 30,000 roubles for the administrative-law offence of ‘discrediting’ the Russian army (Article 20.3.3, Part 1, of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences) after he wrote an anti-war post on a local group on the VK social media site. In the post, Davletbaev expressed his concerns about the Russian aggression against Ukraine: ‘I, like many, or already a few, of my former friends, live with a feeling of constant anxiety, pain, rage and monstrous hopelessness, with the realisation that nothing, neither Putin’s death nor Ukraine’s victory, can any longer save this world from monstrous upheavals.’

In December 2023, it became known that criminal proceedings had been opened against Davletbaev for the offence of justification of terrorism (Article 205.2, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code).

The grounds for this charge were comments Davletbaev published about the case of Aleksei Nuriev and Roman Nasryev, who had tried to set fire to a military registration office in Bakal, Sverdlovsk region. In April 2023, the two men were both sentenced to 19 years in a strict regime penal colony on terrorism charges.

Davletbaev wrote about them: ‘Men with a capital letter. Russia will be free. In the new Russia they will be real heroes.’ The investigative authorities charged Davletbaev with public justification of terrorism on the basis of this comment, and Davletbaev was remanded in custody. If convicted, he faces up to seven years’ imprisonment .

Why do we consider Gaziz Davletbaev a political prisoner?

Davletbaev was remanded in custody on charges of justification of terrorism, charges which are increasingly used by the Russian authorities to combat dissenters, including those who oppose Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Davletbaev’s statement about the actions of Nuriev and Nasryev contains no justification of terrorism. He does not endorse the ideology or practice of terrorism, but supports the actions of young people who oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The actions of Nuriev and Nasryev cannot be classified as terrorism because they were not intended to intimidate the population. Moreover, their trial failed to prove that they intended to create a situation endangering life, or that they wanted to destabilise the work of the authorities, or somehow influence the decision-making process.

A detailed description of the case of Gaziz Davletbaev and the position of the Human Rights Project are available on our website.

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

How can you help?

The project You are not alone 74 supports Gaziz Davletbaev.

You can write to Gaziz Davletbaev at the following address:

In Russian: 620024, Свердловская область, г. Екатеринбург, Елизаветинское шоссе, д. 19, ФКУ СИЗО-5 ГУФСИН России по Свердловской области, Давлетбаеву Газизу Фаэтовичу 1989 г. р. 

English translation: Gaziz Faetovich Davletbaev (born 1989), Remand Prison No.5, Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Sverdlovsk region, 19 Elizavetinskoe Shosse, Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk region, 620024, Russia.

You can also send an electronic letter via the Zonatelecom 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