Posts Tagged ‘retaliation’
The Oborona website reports that, in an apparent effort to wish my mother a “happy Mother’s Day” (actually, this holiday isn’t celebrated in Russia), I’ve been made to disappear.
As indicated in a prior post, I’ve been arrested on clearly fraudulent charges of civil disobedience in order to block his participation in the formation of a new shadow parliament organization. As Garry Kasparov wrote in the Los Angeles Times over the weekend:
Oleg Kozlovsky, a member of the Other Russia opposition coalition leadership, was given 13 days in prison. Arrest reports for him came from two officers, each giving a different time and place of arrest. According to the judge, this curious fact “was not related to the case.”
When my mother and attorney tried to meet with me over the weekend, as Oborona relates, they were denied access and not only that — the authorities refused even to confirm my whereabouts. The authorities were already denying me family visitation, according to Oborona.
On May 12th at 4:30 pm I was scheduled to appear in court to pursue an appeal of my conviction.
Try as they will, my foes cannot silence the voice of freedom. It will be heard. The Kremlin can make me disappear, but it can’t silence my blog or my compatriots at Oborona or my friends and supporters around the world.
Links to reports on the arrests on the Russian Internet can be found here.
UPDATE: Oborona now reports that the appellate court reviewed my sentence and confirmed it. Numerous photographs of me at the time of my arrest were shown proving that I was not engaged in civil disobedience but merely walking on a public street (though, granted, on the day a major protest action was scheduled to occur); the judge disregarded them, calling them “biased.” He refused to issue a subpoena for the testimony of the arresting officers. When the decision was announced the Oborona members assembled to view the proceedings chanted: “Shame! Shame! Shame!” A picket campaign is now being organized on a daily basis outside my prison.
Click the jump to view photos of me at my court appearance.
(By the way, if you’re wondering how I can continue to post to my blog even though I’m in prison and in fact my whereabouts are currently unknown, you can bet the Kremlin is wondering too. Let’s let them wonder, shall we?)
Here is a translation of a report from the Russian website Grani.ru:
A Basman court in Moscow on May 7th sentenced Oborona Coordinator Oleg Kozlovsky to 13 days of administrative arrest. As reported by the press service of the Other Russia coalition, Kozlovsky, who considers the decision illegal, has declared a hunger strike. According to Other Russia, Kozlovsky’s trial was fraught with procedural irregularities: Court documents appeared to allege that Kozlovsky had been in two different places at the same time and had been detained by two different police officers. The trial judge, however, stated that “it has nothing to do with the case.” All the defense witnesses were removed from the courtroom.
Kozlovsky is to regain his freedom the day after the conclusion of the first meeting of the opposition coalition’s National Assembly, a shadow parliament organization. Kozlovsky was one of the organizers of the Assembly, so his colleagues do not doubt that his arrest and sentencing have been calculated to prevent Kozlovsky participation in the Assembly.
Another Oborona member, Ivan Afonin, who was arrested with Kozlovsky and received a six-day sentence, also announced a hunger strike. Earlier the court had handed out similar sentences to journalist Alexander Weinstein, journalist and activist Maxim Polyakov and Oborona member Vladimir Akimenkov.
May 8th was my birthday! A jolly gift I received from the Kremlin! If you click here, you will see a photograph taken of the outside of my prison, where my comrades gathered to celebrate the occasion, unfortunately in my absence. They decorated it with orange balloons — the color of revolution in Eastern Europe — and spray-painted the message “here Oleg Kozlovsky completed his 24th year of life” on the wall. Then they drank a toast to my health.
The Oborona blog explains that I was preemptively arrested by plainclothes police on May 6th while not engaged in any form of protest activity. When I was removed from court after the sentencing, my comrades, surrounded by OMON officers, chanted: “FREE OLEG KOZLOVSKY.” This is not the first time the chant has been heard in Moscow’s streets and elsewhere. Likely, it will not be the last.
Try as they will, my foes cannot silence the voice of freedom. It will be heard.