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Political Prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky Addresses ‘Prisoners of 6 May’

11 September 2013 

Source: (info
Dear friends, 

I think I can understand better than many what you are feeling now, having faced our unscrupulous and ruthless “judicial and law-enforcement” system.

All of us have read detective stories and watched TV series where the law prevails even if there are some unjust individuals.

I remember the thing that struck me the most was that from the very beginning was that in the eyes of the person who gave himself out to be a judge I was a lower form of life, something like a serf or a Roman slave, whereas the “gentleman” in uniform did not need to prove anything whatsoever: his words were taken at face value, while mine were just listened to with distaste with no intention to take them into consideration.

I am not even talking about such complex matters as the presumption of innocence, interpreting any doubts in favour of the defendant, and so on. They simply couldn’t care less about the law.

But at the beginning one is most hurt by the refusal to regard you as a human being, as an equal who is telling the truth simply because that is the right thing to do.

You need to live through all this and stop getting upset about it. You need to understand that what you are dealing with is not a system of justice, but a repressive machine to which we are fed as raw materials. The operator of this machine does not show up in the room, but we all know who he is.

What we can and must do is to show people, and show the country, that this machine has no dignity, while we do. Then sooner or later (but most likely already quite soon) the machine will be taken to bits - and used for spare parts, if there is anything useful in it besides the buildings.

And you will prevail, and your parents and friends, and later your children and grandchildren, will be proud of you.

Sincerely yours,

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

This is a slightly adapted version of a translation of the Russian original first published by here