‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova, a married couple from Tver region convicted for anti-war graffiti and posts on social media, are political prisoners

30 January 2023

Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for vandalism and ‘fake news’ about the army

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ a human rights project, considers Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova political prisoners in accordance with international standards. Their criminal prosecution for non-violent anti-war actions violates the right to freedom of expression and is intended to silence the voices of those in Russia who oppose the war against Ukraine.

We demand the immediate release of Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova and that all criminal charges against them be dropped.

What were the charges against Martynov and Razumova?

Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova are a married couple from Konakovo in Tver region.

In April 2022 they were detained and then remanded in custody on charges of vandalism (Article 214, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code) and disseminating information ‘known to be false’ about the Russian army (Article 207.3, Part 2 [e], of the Russian Criminal Code).

Martynov and Razumova are accused of drawing anti-war graffiti on the walls of houses in several localities in Tver region and posting videos on their personal social media pages about crimes committed by the Russian military on the territory of Ukraine.

On 17 March 2023, the court sentenced Aleksandr Martynov to six and a half years in a general regime penal colony and Liudmila Razumova to seven years in a general regime penal colony.

Why do we consider Martynov and Razumova political prisoners?

We consider the criminal prosecution of Aleksandr Martynov and Liudmila Razumova politically motivated and unlawful.

The criminal cases were brought against Martynov and Razumova for non-violent anti-war protests. We believe that in posting videos about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the married couple exercised their right to receive and disseminate information guaranteed by the Russian Constitution. Their anti-war graffiti had the same goal – to declare that the war is criminal and must be ended.

While drawing anti-war graffiti on the walls of buildings can be viewed as damage to buildings, we believe the scale of the damage and the current social and political context do not justify qualifying this act as vandalism. The actions of Martynov and Razumova do not constitute any public danger. On the contrary, they are aimed at informing Russian society about the war crimes of the Russian army, which should be considered a socially useful action.

The prosecution of Martynov and Razumova is part of a series of criminal prosecutions of critics of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Further information about this case and the position of the human rights project, ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ are available on our website.

An up-to-date list of political prisoners in Russia is also available 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 donate to support all political prisoners via the PayPal (helppoliticalprisoners@gmail.com) or YooMoney accounts of the Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners. For more information about donating, see our website.

Translated by Rights in Russia

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