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Writer Ludmila Ulitskaya offers to put up bail for detained activist Akimenkov, who is going blind in custody

2 November 2012 

Source: (info)
The writer Ludmila Ulitskaya has called for the release from custody of Vladimir Akimenkov, a protester under investigation in connection with the May 6 Bolotnaya Square demonstration, who suffers from progressive blindness. Her open letter, addressed to the presiding judge of Moscow City Court, Olga Egorova, on November 2 was published on The New Times website, Kasparova.Ru  correspondent Elena Astarina reports. 

“By law a court is allowed to release him for treatment, either on his own recognizance or on bail,” Ulitskaya wrote. “I am willing to serve as Vladimir Akimenkov’s guarantor and post bail on his behalf.”

Ulitskaya stressed that Akimenkov has only ten percent vision, and if he doesn’t receive immediate treatment while remaining in the pre-trial detention centre, he will go completely blind.

The activist, who is accused of taking part in the Bolotnaya square riots on 6 May, suffers from congenital atrophy of the optic nerve and coloboma of the iris. The list of conditions that can excuse individuals from being held in custody, however, includes only “eye conditions that are accompanied by complete blindness.”

On 30 October, Judge Irina Skuridina extended Akimenkov’s detention period until March 6, despite his complaint that he was going blind at the detention centre. The court’s decision has been appealed.

The Investigative Committee said the activist’s current state of health in no way precludes his detention and added that “there is no negative trend in the medical condition of his vision.”