Note from LeftEast editors: we republish this post which initially appeared on Freedom Co-op’s blog and call for solidarity with the unjustly detained, tortured and convicted comrades. See below what actions you can take to support them.
The trial of seven Russian antifascists accused of terrorist offences ended today in Penza, western Russia.
Dmitry Pchelintsev recieved 18 years, Ilya Shakursky 16 years, Arman Sagynbaev 6 years, Andrei Chernov 14 years, Vasily Kuksov 9 years, Mikhail Kulkov 10 years and Maxim Ivankin 13 years imprisonment.
The Network case has begun in October 2017, when the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested six people in Penza accusing them of participation in a terrorist organisation “The Network”. Two other Penza residents disappeared and were put on the wanted list by the FSB. They were subsequently detained in Moscow. In January 2018, two more people were arrested in the same case, and, in April that year, charges were brought against one more person.
According to the prosecution, the “anarchist terrorist community” was set up in May 2015. After the group’s formation, the defendants allegedly “assigned roles among themselves and explored ways of committing crimes” in order to overthrow the Russian regime by “establishing combat groups and recruiting individuals who shared their anarchist ideology.” They were also accused of intending to use bombs to trigger “destabilisation of the political climate in the country” during the Russian presidential elections in March 2018 and the football World Cup held in the country in July that year.
Throughout the trial, the defendants dened the charges and complained about mistreatment including torture by electric shock and beating during their detention.
Today’s court verdict was delivered amid protests outside the court. After the verdict was announced, the court audience responded with shouts “Shame!” And “Freedom!”.
The court allowed the seven anarchists a right to appeal.
What can you do to support the Russian antifascists and anarchists who have been tortured and imprisoned?
- Donate money to the Anarchist Black Cross via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org). Make sure to specify your donation is earmarked for “Rupression.”
- Spread the word about the Network Case aka the Penza-Petersburg “terrorism” case. You can find more information about the case and in-depth articles translated into English on this website.
- Organize solidarity events where you live to raise money and publicize the plight of the tortured Penza and Petersburg antifascists.
- If you have the time and means to design, produce, and sell solidarity merchandise, please write to email@example.com.
- Design a solidarity postcard that can be printed and used by others to send messages of support to the prisoners. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Write letters of support to the prisoners and their loved ones via email@example.com.