16 September 2022
Vadim Khairullin will spend a year in a penal colony for participation in rallies of solidarity with the Belarusian opposition and in support of Aleksei Navalny
The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ considers Vadim Khairullin from Kaliningrad a political prisoner, in accordance with international standards. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment solely for participating in a number of peaceful protests.
We demand that Vadim Khairullin be immediately released from custody and that the criminal charges against him be dropped.
We demand the termination of all prosecutions brought under the unconstitutional Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code concerning repeated violation of the regulations for holding public events and the rescinding of this article from the Criminal Code.
Who is Vadim Khairullin and what are the charges against him?
Vadim Khairullin is an opposition activist from Kaliningrad. In recent years he has been an active participant in protests in the city for which he was repeatedly fined and jailed under administrative law.
On 20 August 2021 Khairullin was summoned for interrogation to the local department of the Investigative Committee where he learned he was suspected of repeated violations of the regulations governing the holding of public events (Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code). The reason for the launching of criminal proceedings against Khairullin was his participation in peaceful protests of solidarity with Aleksei Navalny at the beginning of 2021 and a picket in support of the Belarusian opposition in late August 2020. Khairullin was released under travel restrictions.
On 8 August 2022, the Central district court in Kaliningrad sentenced him to one year in a general regime penal colony, although the prosecutor had requested only a suspended sentence of two years.
Why do we consider Vadim Khairullin a political prisoner?
The very fact of Vadim Khairullin’s prosecution under the unconstitutional Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code for repeated violations of the regulations governing the holding of public events gives grounds to consider him a political prisoner.
Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code contradicts fundamental principles of law, directly violates the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and provides for punishment for the exercise of this right.
Earlier, Memorial Human Rights Centre, Amnesty International, the head of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council, and the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation all severely criticised this article of the Criminal Code. Even the Russian Constitutional Court, in considering the complaint by Ildar Dadin, the first person convicted under this Article, limited application of this Article only to those cases in which violations of the regulations governing the organising or holding of a public event ‘resulted in harm to the health of citizens, the property of individuals or legal entities, the environment, public order, public security, or other constitutionally protected values, or contained a real threat of causing such harm.’
We believe Khairullin’s prosecution is clearly political in nature. The activist has been prosecuted for participation in opposition protest rallies against the background of the suppression of any independent street activity.
The efforts by law enforcement officers to fabricate a criminal case against Khairullin are obvious. He was convicted under administrative law for a picket that took place in August 2020 in support of the Belarusian opposition only in February 2021, after he had already been fined twice for participating in protests in support of Navalny.
Khairullin himself believes his criminal prosecution is connected to the pickets ‘Smile, if you are fed up with Putin’ that he has organised in recent years.
More information about the prosecution of Vadim Khairullin and the position of the Human Rights Project is available on our Telegram publishing platform.
You can access a full list of political prisoners in Russia on our temporary website.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ human rights project agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.
How can you help?
Ordinary mail can be sent to Vadim Khairullin at the following address:
In Russian: 238543, ФКУ СИЗО-3 УФСИН России по Калининградской области, Калининградская обл., Зеленоградский р-н, пос. Колосовка, Хайруллину Вадиму Вильевичу, 1972 г. р.
In English: Vadim Vilevich Khairullin (born 1972), Remand Prison No. 3, Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Kaliningrad Oblast, Kolosovka Settlement, Zelenogradsky District, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, 238543
Electronic letters can also be sent to him via the FederalPenitentiaryService-Letter system.
Translated by Simon Cosgrove