Russia: Show trial in Yaroslavi

Earlier this week, we reported on the case of Sergei Kozlovskii, a socialist and gay rights activist facing political repression and huge legal fine.

Sergei was brought to court and sued for the sum of 50,000 rubles (almost 2,000 euros) by Tamara Dadianova, who is a well-known "patriotic" writer. Dadianova has close links to the local authorities in Sergei’s home city of Yaroslavl. In connection with the case against Sergei, Dadianova is also suing the local TV station for 50,0000 euros.

On 26 September, Sergei’s case was heard in court. Rob Jones, from the CWI in Moscow, reports.

"There was not even the pretence of fairness and justice at the court case of Sergei Kozlovskii and the TV station being sued for libel in Yaroslavl.

"Tamara Dadianova, who was claiming that her reputation had been harmed, was ably assisted by her friend, the judge. The two went to the judge’s room together during the breaks in proceedings whilst those who went to the court to support those under attack were thrown out on the stupidest of pretensions. Dima Radchuk, for example, was told to leave the courtroom by the judge because he was smiling!

"The atmosphere of bigotry whipped up by the claimant can be demonstrated by just one example. She said she had phoned Sergei at home – his grandmother answered. She described his grandmother in her evidence as "an anti-globalist and homosexual"! The judge did nothing to prevent this. Another of the claimant’s witnesses is a well known anti Semitic writer.

"Witnesses wanting to give evidence backing Sergei’s argument were prevented from participating, others not allowed to finish their evidence.

"The judge ruled that Sergei should pay a token sum (about 20 euros) and the TV station 50,000 rubles (about 1,700 euros) in compensation. They are both considering an appeal."

Please send protests to:

Leninskii Regional Court , 150040 Yaroslavl, ul Nekrasova 71, Telephone 0852 – 231243

Victor Leonidovich Shirshov, Head of public affairs Yaroslavl Region. Telephone 0852 302867, Fax 007 852 303620

Telecompany "Nezavisimoye Telemedia", 150003 Yaroslavl, ul Sovetskaya 69. Tel 0852 251923

With copies of protests please to pabgem@online.ru

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