The Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States
The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States June 11, 2012
Mrs. Secretary of State,
We are writing to express grave concerns of our organizations and their supporters around the country over escalating repressions against opposition leaders, activists, and anti-corruption crusaders in Russia. Today, on the eve of the government-sanctioned mass rally in Moscow, police raided and searched the apartments of its key organizers, including Alexey Navalny, Sergey Udaltsov, Ilya Yashin, Ksenia Sobchak, and others, as well as their relatives, seizing their computer equipment, membership lists, publications, and other personal possessions. In its report on the raids, the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor-General described the seized materials as “literature with anti-state slogans” – a grim reminder of arbitrary charges of “anti-Soviet propaganda” used by government authorities in the communist era.
Following the adoption of the draconian law that introduced prohibitive penalties for holding unsanctioned rallies, today’s raids are yet another point of no return in Russia’s transformation into an authoritarian police state. We respectfully urge you to use every diplomatic means at your disposal to warn Russian government about the consequences of its behavior in terms of its standing in the community of nations. We also urge you to raise these issues in your meetings with Russian officials during the forthcoming G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Dr. Alexander Bolonkin (Brooklyn, NY), Dr. Dmitri Daniel Glinski (New York, NY), Co-Chairs of the Board, American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights, Inc.
Olga Golovanova (Brooklyn, NY)
Yuriy Gusev (Washington DC)
Natalia Lauk (Pocatello, ID)
Zhanna Reid (New Paltz, NY)
Yuriy Popov (Brooklyn, NY)
Aleksandra V. Kapustina (Los Angeles, CA)
Farrukh Khamdamov & Anna Solina (Brooklyn, NY)
Aleksandr Yakubson (Staten Island, NY)
Maria Paramonova (Seattle, WA)
Marina Beridze (New York, NY)
Maria Smirnova Galbo (Sacramento, CA)
Artiom Fadin (Atlanta, GA)
Isabel Green (New York, NY)