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FSB calls for activists to be punished for raising "doubts about the legitimacy of the authorities and the correctness of the political course"

20 February 2013


Source: HRO.org (info)
On 20 February 2013 in Tatarstan a public prosecutor issued a warning to a civic activist at the request of the FSB, telling him that extremism would not be tolerated. The Naberezhnye Chelny prosecutor's office issued the warning regarding extremist activity to the former director of the museum of archaeology at the Elabuzh branch of Kazan Federal University, Raushan Valiullin. As was learned the evening before, this warning was prompted by a letter the city's prosecutor Aleksandr Evgrafov received from the FSB, in which the civic activist was upbraided for cultivating "an acutely negative public attitude toward the leaders of the state", "discrediting state agencies" and provoking "doubts about the legitimacy of the authorities and the correctness of the political course being pursued in the country." The FSB also believes that the deliberateness of Valiullin's actions "is corroborated by the destructive activity carried out by him during the 2011-2012 election campaigns."

On 19 February, after showing these materials to the activist, the prosecutor cautioned him, saying, "I don't recommend posting these online." This was reported by Agora Human Rights Association.

Attempts were made by police to bring in Valiullin back in December of last year. However, the summons did not indicate why the police wanted to see the civic activist, or in what capacity. Valiullin requested that a correctly drafted summons be sent to him. After a month of silence, on 28 January the activist was called to appear in Naberezhnye Chelny's prosecutor's office, where he was warned that extremist activity would not be tolerated.

Naberezhnye Chelny's prosecutor, senior law advisor Aleksandr Evgrafov, told him he had received information from the regional FSB office and Centre for Combating Extremism showing that the civic activist had "posted a photograph of an image of Nazi symbols online for the purposes of propaganda and public demonstration in the photographs section of a VKontakte social network page under the name Raushan Valiullin." Valiullin stated that he had never posted anything of the kind on his page and asked to see the materials in question. He was given the opportunity to do so only yesterday.

It emerged that the head of the Tatarstan FSB office in Naberezhnye Chelny Colonel Siren Galiakberov wrote in a letter to prosecutor Evgrafov that Valiullin had supposedly posted "photographs of the leaders of the Russian Federation in Third Reich military uniforms with Nazi symbols" on his personal VKontakte page.

"This comparative and descriptive material was calculated to form an acutely negative public attitude toward the leaders of the state and aimed at discrediting state agencies and directorates, provoking doubts about the legitimacy of the authorities and the correctness of the political course being pursued in the country," said Siren Galiakberov, highlighting that during the "destructive activity during the 2011-2012 election campaigns" carried out by Valiullin, police agencies warned him on several occasions that "violations of current legislation when organising protests would not be permitted."

Valiullin has no idea what police warnings Galiakberov is referring to. He was not an organiser but was an active participant in protests in 2011-2012 and continues to participate with other activists in various public events today. As regards the photo of state leaders, Valiullin found a photo like this posted on his VKontakte wall by another person and removed it. In his response to the Naberezhnye Chelny prosecutor's office and the copy sent to Tatarstan's Prosecutor Kafil Amirov, Valiullin pointed to the law enforcement agencies' bias against him.

"The prosecutor's office is aware, and this is reflected in the official materials, that the photograph was not posted by me but by another user, whose personal information is held by VKontakte," stated Valiullin. "I do not know this person and the social network's terms of use allow other people to post photos on my page without my permission."

Valiullin also points out that this photograph remains publicly accessible on various websites, although no sanctions have been imposed on the owners of these sites or the distributors by law enforcement agencies. He sees a link between the warning given to him about extremist activity and his civic activism and social and political activity.

"I can see that political persecution is being used against people who express their civic position in Naberezhnye Chelny," says Valiullin. "I understand why it is happening in my case: firstly, to frighten me, and secondly, to have damaging information to discredit me with in future, to use at a particular time to say that I'm an extremist and promote Nazi symbols."

You can see the letter from head of the Tatarstan FSB office in Naberezhnye Chelny Colonel Siren Galiakberov to the city's prosecutor Aleksandr Evgrafov here: http://openinform.ru/fs/j_photos/openinform_399.pdf
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