BORIS KAGARLITSKY
IS IN PRISON!

On February 13, the court overturned the previous decision on release and sent Boris Kagarlitsky to prison for five years.

PETITION IN SUPPORT OF BORIS KAGARLITSKY

We, the undersigned, were deeply shocked to learn that on February 13 the leading Russian socialist intellectual and anti-war activist Dr Boris Kagarlitsky (65) was sentenced to five years in prison.

Dr Kagarlitsky was arrested on the absurd charge of 'justifying terrorism' in July last year. After a global campaign reflecting his worldwide reputation as a writer and critic of capitalism and imperialism, his trial ended on December 12 with a guilty verdict and a fine of 609,000 roubles.

The prosecution then appealed against the fine as 'unjust due to its excessive leniency' and claimed falsely that Dr Kagarlitsky was unable to pay the fine and had failed to cooperate with the court. In fact, he had paid the fine in full and provided the court with everything it requested.

On February 13 a military court of appeal sent him to prison for five years and banned him from running a website for two years after his release.

The reversal of the original court decision is a deliberate insult to the many thousands of activists, academics, and artists around the world who respect Dr Kagarlitsky and took part in the global campaign for his release. The section of Russian law used against Dr Kagarlitsky effectively prohibits free expression. The decision to replace the fine with imprisonment was made under a completely trumped-up pretext. Undoubtedly, the court's action represents an attempt to silence criticism in the Russian Federation of the government's war in Ukraine, which is turning the country into a prison.

The sham trial of Dr Kagarlitsky is the latest in a wave of brutal repression against the left-wing movements in Russia. Organizations that have consistently criticized imperialism, Western and otherwise, are now under direct attack, many of them banned. Dozens of activists are already serving long terms simply because they disagree with the policies of the Russian government and have the courage to speak up. Many of them are tortured and subjected to life-threatening conditions in Russian penal colonies, deprived of basic medical care. Left-wing politicians are forced to flee Russia, facing criminal charges. International trade unions such as IndustriALL and the International Transport Federation are banned and any contact with them will result in long prison sentences.

There is a clear reason for this crackdown on the Russian left. The heavy toll of the war gives rise to growing discontent among the mass of working people. The poor pay for this massacre with their lives and wellbeing, and opposition to war is consistently highest among the poorest. The left has the message and resolve to expose the connection between imperialist war and human suffering.

Dr Kagarlitsky has responded to the court's outrageous decision with calm and dignity: 'We just need to live a little longer and survive this dark period for our country,' he said. Russia is nearing a period of radical change and upheaval, and freedom for Dr Kagarlitsky and other activists is a condition for these changes to take a progressive course.

We demand that Boris Kagarlitsky and all other anti-war prisoners be released immediately and unconditionally.

We also call on the authorities of the Russian Federation to reverse their growing repression of dissent and respect their citizens' freedom of speech and right to protest.
Sign to demand the release of Boris Kagarlitsky
The petition is also available on Change.org
SIGNATORIES
  • Naomi Klein
    Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses, support of ecofeminism, organized labour, leftism and criticism of corporate globalization, fascism, ecofascism and capitalism.
  • Jeremy Corbyn
    British politician, Leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020, member of Parliament
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon
    Co-director of La Boétie Institute, French Presidential candidate of The Popular Union in 2022
  • Slavoj Žižek
    Slovenian philosopher, cultural theorist and public intellectual
  • Tariq Ali
    Pakistani-British political activist, writer, journalist, historian, and public intellectual
  • Yanis Varoufakis
    Writer and political leader (Greece)
  • Judy Rebick
    Feminist writer and activist (Canada)
  • Myriam Bregman
    National Deputy (Argentina)
  • Nicolás del Caño
    National Deputy (Argentina)
  • Christian Castillo
    National Deputy (Argentina)
  • Fernanda Melchionna
    Federal Deputy (Brazil)
  • Sâmia Bomfim
    Federal Deputy (Brazil)
  • Walden Bello
    Focus on the Global South (The Philippines)
  • Luciana Genro
    State Deputy, Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)
  • Kavita Krishnan
    Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association
  • Richard Boyd-Barrett
    TD (Ireland)
  • John McDonnell
    MP (UK)
  • Fredric Jameson
    Duke University (USA)
  • Étienne Balibar
    French philosopher, professor of political philosophy at the University of Paris X-Nanterre (as well as the University of California at Irvine), teacher of French and English and contemporary literature.
  • Lin Chun
    London School of Economics (UK/China)
  • Kohei Saito
    University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • Claudio Katz
    University of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Luis Bonilla-Molina
    Otras Voces en Educación (Venezuela)
  • Reinaldo Iturriza López
    Sociologist (Venezuela)
  • Patrick Bond
    University of Johannesburg
  • Lindsey German
    Stop the War Coalition (UK)
  • Alex Callinicos
    British political theorist and activist
  • Andrej Hunko
    Member of the Budestag (Germany)
  • Jodi Dean
    Hobart-William Smith (USA)
  • Kerstin Kaiser
    Leiterin Büro der Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Moskau 2016-2022, Partei DIE LINKE
  • Dr. Gregor Gysi
    Member of the Bundestag, the Left Party, Foreign Policy Spokesperson
  • Janine Wissler
    Co-Chairwoman of the Left Party, Member of the Bundestag
  • Martin Schirdewan
    Co-Chair of the Left Party, Member of the European Parliament, Co-Chairman of the parliamentary group The Left - GUE/NGL
  • Larissa Waters
    Australian Greens Leader in the Senate (Australia)
  • Max Chandler-Mather
    Australian Greens MP for Griffith
  • Rehad Desai
    Zabalaza for Socialism, South Africa

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