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Правозащитная общественность благодарит Вас за номинацию бывшего политзаключенного и активного правозащитника России Михаила Трепашкина на премию Андрея Сахарова «За свободу мысли». Не смотря на жестокие и пыточные условия содержания под стражей, которые он пережил, по сфабрикованному делу, Михаил Иванович продолжает активно защищать нарушенные права граждан, как в суде (в настоящее время он ведет, участвует, консультирует граждан более чем по 60-ти делам), так и в общественной жизни (является начальником департамента по оказанию правовой помощи незаконно осужденным Общероссийской общественной организации «Комиссия по борьбе с коррупцией»), пишет статьи (только на сайте http://www.vestnikcivitas.ru за последние три месяца им написано – 17 правозащитных статей), занимается научной деятельностью.

Номинация известного правозащитника сейчас в России, это важное и знаковое событие для нашей страны, когда сейчас обострились проблемы обеспечения и защиты прав человека, и где отстаивать права стало достаточно опасным делом.

Этому свидетельствует убийство главы информационного ресурса ингушской оппозиции - адвоката Магомеда Евлоева, оставление в колонии политзаключенного бизнесмена Михаила Ходорковского, отсутствие информации о результатах расследования убийства известной журналистки Анны Политковской, чудовищная ложь в отношении матерей Беслана и ученого, академика РАЕН Григория Грабового и вынесение ему неправосудного приговора, уголовное преследование руководства «Евросети», отсутствие реального расследования сотен погибших во время Бесланского теракта, замалчивание фактов по убийству политического беженца Александра Литвиненко, наличие многих десятков политзаключенных и другое.

Все это на фоне тотальной коррумпированности, уничтожения избирательного права, основ демократического волеизъявления – права на референдум, полного уничтожения независимых СМИ. С учетом многолетнего вымирания народа до одного миллиона человек в год, многолетнего ежегодного закрытия до 500 школ в России, вымирания деревень и сел, разрушения сельскохозяйственного комплекса России. Последовательное разрушение внешне-политических связей государства, как с бывшими республиками СССР, так и практически со всеми странами запада. Попустительство разврата и преступности на телеэкранах и в жизни государства перед эйфорией и вседозволенностью «так называемой элиты» общества, в отсутствие промышленного роста, с колоссальным государственным резервным фондом страны. Наличие карательной правоохранительной системы, когда происходит осуждение и вынесение реальных сроков наказания одному миллиону человек в год и наличие репрессивного характера правосудия, когда практически отсутствуют оправдательные приговоры и существуют пыточные условия содержания людей под стражей. Это наглядные факты существующего режима власти, с чем приходится сталкиваться правозащитникам в России.

Мы благодарим Вас, что Вы не остались безучастными к вопросам обеспечения и защиты прав человека как в нашей стране, так и других стран. Каждый из номинантов является достойным выбором на соискание премии «За свободу мысли». Мы уверены, что Вы сможете сделать правильный и достойный выбор номинанта на премию Андрея Сахарова, которая поднимает статус всего правозащитного движения в мире на более высокий уровень.

Председатель Комитета по защите

прав человека Республики Татарстан,

член Союза журналистов России Князькин С.А.

Исполнительный директор

Общероссийского Общественного

Движения «За права человека» Пономарев Л.А.

Председатель Комитета «За гражданские права»,

член экспертного Совета при Уполномоченном

по правам человека в РФ Бабушкин А.В.

Директор Московского отделения

Межрегионального общественного

фонда «Защита» Федюков О.А.

Руководитель Антивоенного клуба Кригер М.А.

Gerard Batten MEP

Submission to the Committee of Foreign Affairs

European Parliament

Nomination of Mikhail Trepashkin

Sakharov Prize

9th September 2008

Madame Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman.

All of those nominated deserve recognition of their achievements. They have defended Freedom of Thought in their different ways. The very difficult question to answer is who has done so to the greatest degree as laid down in Article 2 of the Statute.

Mikhail Ivanovich Trepashkin is one of the most prominent dissidents, human rights activists, and until recently, political prisoners, in Russia today.

He was a KGB, and then an FSB, detective from 1979 to 1997. Not all KGB operatives were spies torturers and murderers. Some of them, like our own national internal security services, were concerned with the day-to-day work of investigating organised crime and terrorism. And such was the role of Mikhail Trepashkin.

The fall of the Soviet Union and the Yeltsin Presidency held out the prospect of democracy and the rule of law in Russia. However the failure of the Yeltsin administration to deliver prosperity and democracy and to dismantle the KGB meant that the KGB was able to transform itself into a criminal organisation.

Unrestrained by political ideology or discipline the KGB, now known as the FSB, took over the economic and political structures of the state. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin it was able by murder, extortion and theft to eventually achieve complete power.

Against this backdrop we can place the story of Mikhail Trepashkin. In the mid 1990s .Trepashkin uncovered evidence that senior FSB officers were involved in corruption, organised crime, extortion, murder and terrorism. This resulted in a campaign of victimisation against him and his unfair dismissal.

Having failed to find justice within the FSB, Trepashkin went public and sued his superiors in court where he revealed facts about their criminal activities.

The FSB responded with attempts to prosecute him on falsified charges. These failed and were followed by attempts on his life. One of the FSB officers ordered to murder him was Alexander Litvinenko. He famously refused to obey the order and instead, Trepashkin. Litvinenko and other FSB officers staged a press conference in 1998 in which they accused their superiors of criminal activities.

In his press conference of 1998 he and his colleagues revealed the FSB's plans for a campaign of political assassinations. This was a last bold attempt to prevent the FSB's advance to achieve authoritarian power in Russia. Sadly it failed, but he defended human rights and fundamental freedoms, which cannot exist without the rule of law. He defended the right to free expression, which if that does not mean the right to expose criminal activity means nothing.

Following his dismissal from the KGB, Trepashkin worked as a lawyer. In particular he represented the Morozov sisters, two survivors of the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow. He also advised the Public Commission chaired by Duma Members, Sergei Kovalyov and Sergei Yushenko which conducted an independent investigation into the bombings. Trepashkin uncovered evidence that strongly suggested that the FSB were involved in those crimes. In 2003 both Mr Kovalyov and Mr Yushenko were murdered.

Trepashkin's revelations greatly contributed to the general scepticism towards the Kremlin's war-mongering propaganda against the Chechens. His subsequent imprisonment for four years on trumped-up charges is believed to have been his punishment for trying to reveal the truth about the 1999 Moscow terrorist attacks to the world.

Another independent investigation thwarted by his imprisonment was of the FSB's involvement as agent-provocateurs in the notorious 2002 Nord-Ost theatre hostage taking and the bungled rescue operation that left many dead.

As a prisoner Trepashkin went on fighting for human rights and protesting against the brutal prison conditions. He legally represented many prisoners and was able to obtain improved conditions, and the release of some unjustly detained.

Mr Trepashkin was offered a pardon if he would aid the assassination of his friend Alexander Litvinenko who was living in exile in London. He refused, but warned Mr Litvinenko of the impending plot. Following Mr Litvinenko's murder in 2006 he offered to make a statement to the British police naming the officer who asked him to contribute to Mr Litvinenko's murder but his request was denied by the Russian authorities.

During his time in prison Mr Trepashkin was subjected to ill treatment and denied medical treatment for his chronic bronchial asthma. He was finally released in November 2007 following an international campaign on his behalf. Amnesty International had recognised him as a political prisoner. He now faces the threat of being rearrested and imprisoned on false charges at any time he if continues to speak out against Russia's criminal regime.

Mr Trepashkin has defended the most basic human rights and fundamental freedom to live in state under the rule of law protected from a tyrannical government. He has defended the right to free expression by daring to speak the truth when doing so has cost him his liberty, his health, and could have easily resulted in his death.

He has defended the rights of minorities. In Russia today those prepared to speak out against the criminal regime are quite understandably a minority, whereas we can also be sure that they represent the real wishes of the majority who, like people everywhere, wish to live in peace and under a fair and just legal system.

His activities have upheld up respect for international law so blatantly ignored and contemptuously cast aside by the current Russian regime. Which passed a law allowing the Russian state to murder political opponents on foreign soil if it so wishes. The direct result of which was the murder of Alexander Litvinenko in London in November 2006.

All of Mr Trepashkin's activities have contributed to the development of democracy and the implementation of the rule of law. Listen to how he has been described by Elena Bonner the widow of Andrei Sakharov the man after whom this prize is named. Elena Bonner says, "Thirty years ago at a height of political repression in the Soviet Union, my late husband Andrei Sakharov and I would spend days in front of a courthouse trying to bring the world's attention to the fate of a courageous few who dared to challenge the regime. Mr Trepashkin and his fellow political prisoners are in the same situation as the dissidents from the Soviet days". What higher recommendation could there be?

It is difficult for us who live in free, democratic societies to imaging the sheer courage that is required to stand up to a criminal regime such as that in Russia. To do so risks life and liberty, and not just your own but that of your family and friends. Mr Trepashkin has that unbelievable courage and strength of character. He does what he does because he simply has the conviction to stand up for what is right and just against any threat.

I ask that this Parliament show Mr Trepashskin the moral support he deserves and offers him, and the people of Russia, the encouragement they need to pursue the values the Sahkarov Prize represents.

END


NOTICE TO MEMBERS

Subject: SAKHAROV PRIZE FOR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT 2008

Members will find attached the list of candidates in alphabetical order, as well as the justifications and biographies received by the secretariat, for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2008, which have been nominated pursuant to the Sakharov Prize statute by at least 40 Members of the European Parliament or by a political group.

DIRECTORATE GENERAL

FOR EXTERNAL POLICIES

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SAKHAROV PRIZE FOR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT 2008

Candidates proposed by political groups and individual members

in alphabetical order


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Ingrid Betancourt

Nominated by Martin Schulz on

behalf of the Socialist Group


Ingrid Betancourt Pulecio (born December 25, 1961) is a Colombian-French politician, former senator and anti-corruption activist. Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on February 23, 2002, and rescued from captivity six and a half years later in Operation Jaque, along with 14 other hostages, by Colombian security forces on July 2, 2008.

In all, she was held captive for 2.321 days after being taken while campaigning for the Colombian presidency. She decided to campaign in an area of high guerilla presence in spite of warnings not to do so. Her ordeal as a political prisoner has captured attention and admiration around the world.

During her term in the Colombian Chamber of Representatives, she criticized the administration of President Ernesto Samper, who was accused of corruption in the 8000 process scandal after accepting money from the Cali drug cartel for his electoral campaign.

Ingrid Betancourt launched her presidential campaign on May 20, 2001. On February 23, 2002 she was kidnapped during her campaign tour to the demilitarized zone in the town of San Vicente del Caguán to meet with the FARC.

Betancourt has constantly spoken out and stood up to the forces of terrorism and it's devastating effects against ordinary, innocent people both in Colombia and around the world. The way in which she has continued her fight and shown solidarity with those in captivity since her release makes her a worthy candidate for the 2008 European Parliament Sakharov prize.

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