‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: Konstantin Seleznev from Moscow is a political prisoner

12 October 2023

Konstantin Seleznev has been remanded in custody after sending the Prosecutor General the UN report on the events in Bucha and reminding Putin about the shooting down of the Boeing MH17

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’, in accordance with international standards, considers Konstantin Seleznev a political prisoner. He is being prosecuted for spreading ‘fake news’ about the Russian army for appeals he sent to the Prosecutor General and the President, which he published on social media. Seleznev’s criminal prosecution violates his rights to freedom of expression and fair trial and is intended to intimidate domestic opponents of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

We demand the release of Konstantin Seleznev and an end to his criminal prosecution.

Who is Konstantin Seleznev and what is the background to his case?

Konstantin Seleznev is a pensioner who was formerly a teacher of physics and mathematics.

In December 2022 Seleznev sent the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation the text of the UN report on war crimes in Bucha and asked for a similar investigation to be conducted by the Russian authorities.

In February 2023, he wrote an appeal to the Russian president in connection with the awarding of an honorary title to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade of the Russian armed forces. Seleznev reminded Vladimir Putin that a court in the Netherlands had found that a Buk missile system from this very brigade had shot down a civilian airliner over the Donbas in 2014.

On 3 October 2023 Seleznev was summoned to the Investigative Committee, his home was searched and he was detained. The next day, Seleznev was remanded in custody on charges of spreading information known to be false about the Russian armed forces (Article 207.3, Part 2 [e], of the Russian Criminal Code).

Why do we consider Konstantin Seleznev a political prisoner?

Seleznev’s prosecution for spreading ‘fake news’ about the army was initiated as part of the Russian authorities’ campaign to suppress dissent in Russia. Prosecutions under this article of the Russian Criminal Code effectively prohibit any criticism of the actions of the Russian authorities and violate the right to freedom of expression. The article should be repealed, all convictions under this article quashed and ongoing criminal cases dropped.

The charges against Seleznev appear particularly absurd since what the Investigative Committee calls ‘information known to be false’ is the result of the work of international experts, about which there is a consensus within the international community. In his appeals Seleznev did not express his personal views, but brought to the attention of Russian officials the report by the UN Commission on Human Rights on war crimes committed in Bucha and the decision of the court in The Hague in the case of the MH17 civilian airliner, shot down over the Donbas in 2014. In both cases, the Russian military is responsible for the crimes.

A detailed description of this case 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 Konstantin Seleznev at the following address:

In Russian: 109382, Москва, ул. Верхние Поля, д. 57, СИЗО-7 УФСИН России по Москве, Селезнёву Константину Анатольевичу, 1960 г.р.

In English: Konstantin Anatolyevich Seleznev (born 1960), Remand Prison No. 7, Russian Federal Penitentiary Service for Moscow, 57 Verkhnie Polya Street, Moscow, 109382, Russia. 

You can also send an electronic letter via F-Letter.

Information about making donations to support all political prisoners can be found on our website.

Translated by Rights in Russia

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