‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: St. Petersburg political scientist Evgeny Bestuzhev is a political prisoner

10 November 2022

Evgeny Bestuzhev has been remanded in custody for anti-war posts on the VK social network

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

On 9 November 2022, law enforcement officers searched the home of Evgeny Bestuzhev, a 62-year-old political scientist and essayist from St. Petersburg, after which he was detained. The next day, Bestuzhev was remanded in custody. 

Bestuzhev is accused of distributing information known to be false about the use of the Russian army (Article 207.3, Part 2 (e), of the Russian Criminal Code). The criminal prosecution was initiated on grounds of a series of publications in which Bestuzhev criticized the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. In total, the case involves 22 publications posted in February and March 2022 on Bestuzhev’s personal page on the VK social network site.

We consider Bestuzhev a political prisoner, as his criminal prosecution is based solely on his anti-war stance. In our view, non-violent anti-war speech cannot, by definition, be considered a crime. 

Bestuzhev’s case is one of a number of criminal cases brought against those who openly condemn Russia’s armed aggression in Ukraine. There are now more than 30 people on our list of political prisoners, prosecuted for statements under the article on ‘fake news’ about the army (Article 207.3 of the Russian Criminal Code).

A more detailed description of the case and the position of the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ human rights project are available on our publishing platform on Telegram.

An up-to-date list of political prisoners in Russia is available on our website.

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

How can you help?

Letters can be sent to:  

In Russian: 195009, Санкт-Петербург, Арсенальная наб., д. 7, ФКУ СИЗО-1 «Кресты» УФСИН России по Санкт-Петербургу и Ленинградской области, Бестужеву Евгению Леонардовичу, 1960 г.р.

In English: Evgeny Leonardovich Bestuzhev (born 1960), Remand Prison No. 1 – ‘Kresty’, Russian Federal Penitentiary Service for St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, 7 Arsenalnaya Naberezhnaya, St. Petersburg, 195009.

You can donate to support all political prisoners via the PayPal (helppoliticalprisoners@gmail.com) or YooMoney accounts of the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners.

Translated by Rights in Russia

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