On 4 September 2023, former Moscow State University graduate student and political prisoner Azat Miftakhov was released from penal colony. On the same day Federal Security Service (FSB) has charged Miftakhov in a criminal case for «justifying terrorism». According to FSB, Azat discussed with other prisoners the war in Ukraine and the actions of the anarchist Mikhail Zhlobitsky, who caused an explosion in the FSB building and died in 2018.
Miftakhov refused to plead guilty. On 5 September 2023 the court arrested him for two months, since the new criminal investigation has been opened.
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Azat Miftakhov was arrested on 1 February 2019, after law enforcement officers searched his student's dorm room, and accused of building an "explosive device" that had been found a year earlier in a city near Moscow, Balashikha. He subsequently claimed that, during interrogation, he was tortured by the police. The prosecution authorities twice ruled that there wasn't enough evidence to charge Miftakhov so he was released from detention on 7 February 2019.
The same day, he was arrested again and charged with attacking the ruling political party's office in Moscow. On the night of 31 January 2018, unidentified persons had broken a window at United Russia’s office on Onezhskaya Street, Moscow, and threw inside a smoke grenade. On 18 January 2021, the court found Miftakhov guilty of hooliganism and sentenced him to six years in a penal colony.
Following the court's decision, but also during the trial, numerous protests were addressed to the Russian authorities for Miftakhov's treatment, such as the open letter issued on by the Société mathématique de France, another from the Brazilian Mathematical Society, and others. An open letter signed by many Russian scientists circulated in Russia and found its way in western academia. Approximately one hundred mathematicians from many countries signed a petition to boycott the 2022 International Congress of Mathematicians, then programmed to be held in Saint Petersburg, for various reasons, among which is the "sharp rising" in Russia of "the number of human rights defenders, journalists and scientists in Russian prisons and penal colonies", including specifically Miftakhov.