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12 to 15 of November 2010: The new Days of Action for the final and unconditional liberation of the Khimki hostages: Aleksei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov

On the 27th and 28th of September new court sessions were held where the question of freeing Aleksei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov, arrested on the 28th of July 2010, was dealt with. Shutting their eyes to the lack of evidence, turning their backs on public and international support for the detainees, described as “pressure on the court” by the prosecution, the Khimki judges prolonged the detention of the two social activists for two more months.


In order to leave the hostages in prison the judges violated the assumption of innocence while the investigation obtained confessions by force  from hundreds of arrested and persecuted individuals. However, it is not so easy to transform innocent militants into “organized criminals” It’s impossible to cover up the illegal destruction of the forest and the repression against its defenders with the wheeling and dealing of false justice. The injustice of the decision to prolong the detention is clear. The unlawfulness of the case strikes even those paying attention the least.


On the 8th of October the regional court of Moscow confirmed the illegality of the prolongation of the detention of Maxim Solopov. The city court of Khimki has till the 20th of October to reexamine the matter of his detention till the end of the investigation. On the 15th of October the regional court of Moscow will examin the legality of the prolongation of the detention of Aleksei Gaskarov. There is a hope that the preventive detention of Aleksei will also undergo reexamination. However, this does not signify the end of the proceedings against the two militants. The judges in Khimki have shown us in two rounds that we should not count on their commitment to the law or common sense. The decision of the high court is not the end of the battle, but a sign to organize more solidarity actions. In order to influence the legal decision it is necessary to preserve our determination and continue our actions. We demand the closing of the case against Aleksei and Maxim and the withdrawal of false accusations! In this situation not acting means the tacit acceptance of the abuses perpetuated by the police and judges.

What we call for:

1. Organizing, during the days of action from the 12th to the 15th of November  2010, actions impacting official political and cultural events organized by the Russian authorities, as well as in front of embassies and consulates of the Russian Federation, demanding meetings with official representatives and pass them petitions.

2. Sending faxes to the Khimki city court (+7-495-572-83-14), to the prosecuter’s office in the Moscow region (+7-495-621-50-06) and the president of the Russian Federation  (+7-495-606-24-64)demanding the closing of the case and the withdrawal of all charges brought against Aleksei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov.

3. Continue sending requests to international organisations: the European Counsel, the European Parliament, the United Nations and other structures, the address of which can be found:

4. Arrange publications in mass and local media, articles on the Khimki hostages in order to inform the public about the new threats on rights and freedom, invite people to participate in solidarity actions to support Aleksei and Maxim and demand the closing of the case fabricated against them.

We would like to ask you to please send us information about your solidarity actions, as well as copies of letters, faxes, and media publications to the email:

It does not matter if you agree or not with acts of civil disobedience such as the spontaneous manifestations on the 28th of July 2010 in front of the city hall of Khimki. What is important is remembering that a true crime has been perpetuated, for three months, against two young people – Aleksei and Maxim. They were arrested, not due to the action, but because they were known

both as active participants in public initiatives, and by the police. They  were locked up in order to scare all the others: defenders of the forest, journalists, antifascists, all worried, but ready to continue to act despite all. All the evidences and confessions against Maxim and Aleksei have been falsified for the investigation. They have been held hostage so that the  greedy construction companies could finish destroying the forest in peace, make a profit, and at the same time, to show us “who’s in charge here” This is unacceptable. Let’s do this together, let’s show that what’s most important is our voice, justice and international human solidarity!  You can follow regular updates and news on the Campaign for the Freedom of the Khimki  Hostages

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