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Internet Event: Support the Political Prisoner Aleksei Pichugin!

Source: (info), 04/07/12

· Yukos affair  · Political prisoners

An event is being held on the internet in support of political prisoner Aleksei Pichugin to coincide with his birthday. All those interested are invited to take part.

The petition drawn up by the event's organisers states:

"25 July marks the 50th birthday of former Yukos employee Aleksei Pichugin. This is already his tenth birthday in prison - Aleksei was arrested at the age of 40 just over a month before his 41st birthday.

The years that have been deleted from Aleksei's life, walled up in the “Black Dolphin" prison in Orenburg, by "fabricators" with general's stars on their epaulettes will never be returned to him.

The investigators and prosecutors attempted to force him to give false testimony against the management of the oil company. Refusing to commit a crime which is deemed to be perjury under the Criminal Code and according to the dictates of morality, Aleksei Pichugin became a genuine prisoner of conscience - despite his high ranking official "position".

However, despite his courage and tenacity, Aleksei is in great need of our support. It is vital that he knows that on the other side of the prison wall people are aware of and remember the injustice that has been committed against him, that they have not become reconciled to it,and that they empathise with those who have been falsely convicted and believe in their release.

Write to Aleksei Pichugin to wish him a happy birthday!"

Well wishers can send their messages by e-mail to: They will all be passed on to Aleksei Pichugin.

Similar actions in support of Aleksei Pichugin have been held on a number of occasions on the Russian internet and many famous people have also taken part. Over the years Pichugin has received birthday messages from rock musician Yury Shevchuk, the actresses Liya Akhedzhakova and Natalya Fateeva, poet and radio presenter Natella Boltyanskaya, writer Boris Struagatsky, politicians Aleksei Melnikov, Vladimir Milov, Valeriya Novodvorskaya, former Yukos employees Leonid Nevzlin and Konstantin Shabelnitsk, and many others.