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Letter from Mikhail Khodorkovsky to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina

30 September 2013 


Source: HRO.org (info)
Political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky has written a letter to the members of Pussy Riot who have been sentenced to terms in prison, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina.


To Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina 

Dear Girls,

Your release date is coming very soon now. Of course, half a year – or even less than that – may seem like an eternity right now, but believe me, it will slip by in the blink of an eye. I’ve seen off many a fellow, and for the majority of them the last months, weeks, and days just seemed drag on forever. But in the end they too flew by.

It is regrettable that at a time when things are already so difficult, Nadya ended up having to stand up for her rights by means of a hunger strike. Sometimes there’s just no other way out, alas. The only thing I would ask of you is to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of what you’re trying to achieve with the impact it will have on your health or even your life. I am confident that the intended effect of bringing attention to the problem has already been achieved.

I know that you’ve got family and friends waiting for you on the outside. You’ve done a great job –you’ve really stuck it out, and you’re continuing to stick it out. Your statements in court during the trial really showed your opponents for what they are. You were on a level – including your cultural level – that they could probably never even hope to attain.

I’ll be honest – my level of education decidedly pales in comparison. And I’m delighted that you, the new generation, have been able to achieve more in this regard. This means that all is not yet lost for our country.

I wish you all the best, and very much hope that having left prison wiser than you were, you will also carry with you the desire to develop our civil society, to help people become aware that they really are people and citizens.

I wish you success.

Respectfully,

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

This translation has been reprinted from the website of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and is published here with due acknowledgement and thanks.
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