Team 29: What we’ve been doing during Lockdown

21 April 2020

Hi, this is Team29 editor-in-chief Dima Okrest

Thanks to the unexpected “holidays” we’ve found time to tell you how you and we are getting through 2020 together.

Today we see semi-voluntary isolation and Big Brother’s desire for even more powerful ways to creep inside our Smartphones, the closing of prisons to the public and confusion in laws, distortions by authorities, and our sovereign’s hunt for fakes. One way or another Team 29 is constantly raising those questions. But with tighter control, everyone is disturbed by the question: Will it be for long? Is it justified?

In answer to these questions we started a video journal where our legal specialists explain Constitution 2.0 and the rules of isolation. They tell how to survive under the current quarantine. You can show these instructions to your dear ones and help them orientate themselves to the new reality.

Some court cases have been postponed due to coronavirus, while others are taking place through WhatsApp, and attorneys are not being allowed to visit clients. But Team29 is still open for business: our attorneys are working on seven cases, our legal specialists on 30, and during the first quarter of the year they provided consultations for 122 people. Even during this period of isolation, our legal specialists and attorneys are preparing case documents. As, for instance, in the defence of investigator Anton Kolomitsyn, accused of illegally obtaining state secrets for buying a Soviet map. 

Thanks to the money we collected with your help, 76-year-old scholar Viktor Kudryavtsev, accused of treason, was able to undergo medical treatment in April.

In the meantime, our journalists have written about the deportation of Chechens and about the lives of convicts from the well-known digger case [Translator’s note: young people who have explored secret underground tunnels in Moscow]. We’ve also recorded a podcast on Russia’s most terrifying isolation cells. Thanks to attorneys, human rights activists and prisoners, you can learn about the formal and informal rules of behaviour in pre-trial detention centres. As listeners from the other side of the bars joke bitterly, you’ll learn a bit more about us.

The whole world has wound up in forced isolation. But we’re here — ready to be at your side. Tell us: What’s difficult for you during the quarantine? How else can Team29 help?

We all dream of meeting again on the first day after isolation: We’ll visit friends or museums, or head out into nature. The time of isolation is an ideal one to stop, meditate on the future, and make plans on how to build a better future right now.

Thanks to your support we can get more done and continue to fight for a future without digital shadowing and total control. Please consider signing up for a monthly donation.

Translated by Mark Nuckols

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