Gregory Vinter is a human rights defender from Cherepovets in Vologda region who has worked as the regional coordinator of the For Human Rights movement, until that organisation was closed down by the authorities. He has also helped members of the LGBT community. On 18 January 2024 Vinter was sentenced to three years in a penal colony on charges of spreading ‘fake news’ about the Russian army (Article 207.3, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code). The criminal case was brought against Vinter in the autumn of 2022 for comments he made on the VKontakte social media site about the mass killings in Bucha and Irpen and the occupation of Mariupol. Vinter wrote at the time:
Your heart breaks when you look at photos and videos from Bucha and Irpen. Occupiers from Russia raped children and killed women they had raped, dumping them directly onto the road. They tried to burn the bodies…Gregory Vinter
Vinter, who is a diabetic, suffered in the poor conditions in which he has been held on remand. He has also alleged that he has been tortured by electric shocks, beaten and unjustifiably placed in solitary confinement. Memorial Human Rights Centre has recognised Vinter as a political prisoner on the grounds that his prosecution and conviction have been in violation of his right to freedom of expression. Memorial has stated:
The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ considers Gregory Vinter a political prisoner in accordance with international criteria. His criminal prosecution violates the constitutional right to freedom of expression. The purpose of the prosecution is to silence the voices of those in Russia opposed to the war against Ukraine and to intimidate Russian civil society.
Gregory has repeatedly said that he fears he will not be provided with adequate health care for his diabetes while imprisoned.
Real incarceration for me […] effectively amounts to an execution and, what’s more, to a public execution fraught with long-term suffering and a torturous departure from this life. This isn’t just 1937, it’s perverted pathological sadism, for which the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service is now famous the world over.Gregory Vinter
Write to Russia
To write to Gregory Vinter to express your support for hIm, please send your letter as an email to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We shall translate the letter into Russian for you and either, depending on your request, mail the translated letter on your behalf to Gregory or return the letter to you for posting in an envelope with an address written in Russian. If we send the letter on your behalf, we ask that you compensate us for the cost of postage from the UK (currently £2.20 – $2.73; €2.52). To learn more about our letter writing project, click here: Write to Russia.
The address to write to Gregory Vinter is:
162600, Вологодская область, г. Череповец, Северное шоссе, д. 67в, ФКУ СИЗО-3 УФСИН России по Вологодской области, Винтеру Грегори Маркусу Северину, 1969 г. р.
When Gregory is moved from the remand prison to the penal colony where he will serve his sentence, we shall update this address. However, Gregory may appeal against his sentence and he may remain for some time in the remand prison until his appeal has been heard.
If you would like to write to another person unjustly deprived of liberty in Russia, the project Write to Russia has so far highlighted the following cases:
- Sasha (Alexandra) Skochilenko – imprisoned for peaceful anti-war protest – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-2/
- Mikhail Zhilin – imprisoned for refusing to fight against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-3/
- Aleksei Arbuzenko – imprisoned for protesting the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-4/
- Aleksei Navalny – imprisoned for peaceful participation in electoral politics – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-5/
- Evgeny Zinich- imprisoned for his faith – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-6/
- Alsu Kurmasheva – held on remand for her work as a journalist – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-7/
- Bakhrom Khamroev – imprisoned for his political and religious beliefs and human rights work – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-8
- Andrei Kapatsyna – imprisoned for his religious beliefs and refusing to fight in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-9
- Gregory Vinter – imprisoned for speaking out about the killings in Bucha and Irpen – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-10