Write to Russia: Ramilya Galim – sentenced to five years for calling on soldiers mobilised from Bashkortostan not to kill Ukrainians

On 22 December 2023 Ramilya Galim, an activist from Ufa in Bashkortostan, was sentenced to five years in a general regime penal colony on charges of ‘inciting activities against state security’. Her crime? – she had published an appeal on her YouTube channel calling on soldiers mobilised from Bashkortostan not to take part in the war against Ukraine. The court ruled she should also be deprived of the right to engage in the administration of websites for four years on her release. On 2 April 2024, a court upheld her sentence on appeal.

Previously, in 2021, Ramilya Galim had been sentenced to three years in a low security penal colony on charges of incitement of extremism (Article 280, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code). At that time had been prosecuted for posting on the internet a video about the removal of crosses that had been put up unofficially in the Urals. At that time she was also banned from running websites for a further two years after her release.

On 16 May 2023, Ramilya Galim was detained and remanded in custody the next day. The investigative authorities considered a video message that she had posted on her YouTube channel in November 2022 addressed to soldiers mobilised from Bashkortostan, asking them not to kill Ukrainians and to leave the war zone, incitement to desertion. She was charged with the offence of inciting activities against state security (Article 280.4, Part 2).

In her video appeal, Ramilya Galim had said: ‘If you have been thrown into the cauldron of war as cannon fodder, you have the right to self-defence.’ She emphasised that the true valour of a hero – in Bashkir, ‘Batyr’ – is to say, ‘I am not a murderer, I do not agree to kill! I do not agree to kill people who have done nothing against me personally.‘ Galim urged her listeners: ‘One way or another, go home!

Memorial has designated Ramilya Galim a political prisoner.

The war of aggression launched by Russia against Ukraine is a criminal act. The Russian invasion has been condemned by a special resolution of the UN General Assembly. The threat to Russia’s security is not the desertion of military personnel, but the war itself and its devastating consequences. Therefore, Galim’s call to refuse to participate in the war of aggression presents no danger to the public. On the contrary, it is beneficial to society. There were no legal grounds for the criminal prosecution and conviction of Ramilya Galim. Addressing her fellow citizens in Bashkortostan, she was exercising her right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Russian and international law.


Write to Russia – Write to Ramilya Galim

The Russian penal system does not allow any messages to prisoners that are written in foreign languages, but Write to Russia is here to help you. To write to Ramilya Galim to show your support for her, please send your letters as an email to us at: letters-to-prisoners@protonmail.com. We shall translate the letters into Russian for you and, depending on your request, either mail the translated letters on your behalf to Ramilya Galim or return the letter to you by email 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 £2.50 – $3.14; €2.92). To learn more about our letter writing project, click here: Write to Russia.

The address to write to Ramilya Galim is:

Россия, 617474, Пермский край, Кунгур, ул. Юбилейная, 20, ФКУ ИК-18 ГУФСИН России по Пермскому краю, Галим Рамиле Хамитьяновне, 1966 г. р.

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:

  1. Sasha (Aleksandra) Skochilenko – imprisoned for peaceful anti-war protest – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-2/
  2. Mikhail Zhilin – imprisoned for refusing to fight against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-3/
  3. Aleksei Arbuzenko – imprisoned for protesting the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-4/
  4. Aleksei Navalny – imprisoned for peaceful participation in electoral politics – died in custody – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-5/
  5. Evgeny Zinich- imprisoned for his faith – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-6/
  6. Alsu Kurmasheva – held on remand for her work as a journalist – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-7/
  7. Bakhrom Khamroev – imprisoned for his political and religious beliefs and human rights work – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-8
  8. Andrei Kapatsyna – imprisoned for his religious beliefs and refusing to fight in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-9
  9. Gregory Vinter – imprisoned for speaking out about the killings in Bucha and Irpen – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-10
  10. Aleksei Gorinov – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-11/
  11. Vladimir Kara-Murza – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-12/
  12. Darya Poliudova – imprisoned for exercising her right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-13/
  13. Ilya Yashin – Ilya Yashin – imprisoned for speaking out about Russian war crimes in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-14/
  14. Appaz Kurtamet – imprisoned on fabricated charges of ‘financing an illegal armed group’ by a Russian-controlled court in occupied Crimea – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-15/
  15. Vyacheslav Malakhov – remanded in custody for criticising Putin for launching the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-16/
  16. Maria Ponomarenko – imprisoned for sharing information about the Russian attack on the Mariupol theatre – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-17/
  17. Grigory Melkonyants – held on remand for his work monitoring elections – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-18/
  18. Daniil Stepanov – imprisoned for anti-war ‘vandalism’ and ‘cooperation with ‘foreign organisations’ – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-19/
  19. Evgenia Berkovich – a theatre director held on remand on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’ in violation of the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-20/
  20. Svetlana Petriychuk – a playwright held on remand on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’ in violation of the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-21
  21. Oleg Orlov – prominent human rights defender imprisoned for exercising the right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-22
  22. Nariman Dzhelyal – Crimean Tatar activist imprisoned on false charges – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-23/
  23. Eduard Sharlot – a musician remanded in custody for criticising Russia’s war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-24/
  24. Darya Kozyreva – remanded in custody on charges of ‘discrediting’ the Russian army – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-25/
  25. Evgeniya Maiboroda – imprisoned for five and a half years on charges of ‘discrediting the Russian army’ – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-26/
  26. Ukrainian citizens Volodymyr Udovyka, Volodymyr Linnyk, Viktoriia Tkachenko and Nataliia Prydatchenko – imprisoned in violation of the Geneva Conventions – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-27/
  27. Nadezhda Buyanova – remanded in custody on charges of spreading ‘fake news’ about the Russian military –https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-28/
  28. Bohdan Ziza – sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for protesting against Russia’s war on Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-29/
  29. Richard Rouz – serving an eight-year term of imprisonment for criticizing Russia’s war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-30/

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