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Wish Aleksei Pichugin a Happy Birthday!

4 July 2013 

Source: (info)
An appeal to “Wish Aleksei Pichugin a Happy Birthday” has been set up on LiveJournal. On 25th July, the former employee of Yukos Oil Company will turn 51.

“He has spent ten of those years behind bars thanks to a miscarriage of justice, as has now been established by the European Court of Human Rights,” explain the authors of the appeal.

“Exactly what happened remains something of a mystery to us. However, we are able to support this man, a man who did not bear false witness even when threatened with life imprisonment,” they said, calling upon the public to send birthday messages for Aleksei Pichugin to the address They will all be passed on to the addressee.

Several well-known human rights activists, journalists, international experts and cultural figures have on numerous occasions expressed the opinion that Aleksei Pichugin’s case was unjust.
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Ludmila Alekseeva, chairperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group:

“Pichugin and Lebedev were arrested before Khodorkovsky and judging by the way their cases went, it was clear that these two men were arrested in the hope that they would give testimonies compromising the head of Yukos.”

Natella Boltyanskaya, poet and radio host on Echo of Moscow:

“I certainly consider Aleksei Pichugin to be a political prisoner. Everyone involved in the Yukos Affair became political prisoners one way or another. As far as I understand, they tried to force a testimony out of him incriminating the most important members of Yukos. Yet they never managed it, despite taking such cruel measures: a man received life imprisonment for several murders, for some of which there were no physical bodies for evidence. Many people in his place would probably have given false testimony against whoever they had to.”

Boris Strugatsky, writer:

“This is proof that anything could happen to any one of us tomorrow. It is the story of an everyday tragedy. Think about it, sympathize, and do not forget.”

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, former European Council special representative and author of the 2009 report “Politically motivated court proceedings in European countries”:

“The aforementioned case leads me to fear that Mr Pichugin may have fallen victim to an unceasing campaign carried out against all those individuals linked with Yukos and its directors.”

Information about Alexei Pichugin’s case can be found at