Anti-fascist Rinat Sultanov was sentenced to two years in prison yesterday in St. Petersburg, for causing “grievous bodily ham to a Nazi during a fight, which took place 4th of November (“Day of national unification”, main convergence day of Russian Nazis) three years ago.
Rinat Sultanov was born and spent his childhood in city of Labytnangi of the far-northern Siberia, where he finished his school.
In 2002, he enrolled to St. Petersburg college of telecommunications with a speciality of programming. Due to financial problems he could not finished his education, but he stayed in St. Petersburg, he visited his relatives in Northern Siberia each year, and also helped them financially. During this time Rinat changed his workplace for several times, educated himself and learned several professions.
While still in school, Rinat got interested about state of affairs in the country. He set up first website of his region, “Anti-fascism should be radical”, where he published leaflets, music and movie links.
From a letter from Rinat in November of 2010:
“I do not think it makes difference who is who, if we all live under one sky and walk on one earth, and when the time comes and nature around us will be lost, so how may people consider important ones skin color and worldview..”
In 2006, Rinat became acquintanced with anarchists and anti-fascists of St. Petersburg. He immediately joined the struggle against the state, he spread stickers, leaflets, made graffiti and joined anti-fascist actions and anarchist demonstrations. He supported Food Not Bombs, often visited weekly pickets against war in Chechnya in Nevski prospekt, helped to prepare protests against G8 summit of 2006 in the city. 10th of July of that year, before the summit, Rinat and three German activists were arrested in flat of an activist of St. Petersburg league of anarchists. Police officers were verbally abusing Rinat and beating him, demanding testimony without a protocol, however Rinat did not gave any names. Eventually Rinat got 10 days sentence with fabricated misdemeanor charges. Rinat was not scared by repressions and stayed active in the movement.
Rinat is a vegetarian for ethical reasons. He took often part to animal rights actions, and helped to organise “A voice for animals”-festival in Petrozhavodsk in 2009. In 2008 he took active part to campaign against police brutality. During 2009, he was involved in several squats in St. Petersburg.
A quote from a letter of Rinat from december 2010:
“Here (in prison) many people ask why I do not eat meat. Many think that vegetarians do not eat meat for religious reasons, but I tell them about other reasons, ecological among others. But besides me, nobody is yet refusing meat-based diet.”.
Rinat was arrested by officers of Center of Counter-action against Extremism (“E-center”) in night between 3rd and 4th of November 2010, before festival “City against fascism”. During festival, officers of E-center were threatening Rinat, demanding testimony against other people and confessing actions he did not committed. However Rinat stayed strong under the pressure.
In few weeks, Rinat will be sent to a prison camp to his home region to do remainder of his sentence. But if you write him immediately, chances are that letters will still reach him:
ul. Lebedeva d. 39
195009 Saint-Petersburg Russia
List of Prisoners in former Soviet Union