Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were imprisoned after politically motivated and unfair trials.
- Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Yurii Ya. Chaika
We are writing to ask for you to do what is in your power to obtain justice for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, two Russian prisoners, which Amnesty International believes are the prisoners of conscience, as both men are being imprisoned largely for political reasons.
In 2010, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to 14 years in prison for embezzlement and money-laundering due to charges brought in 2007, when both men were already serving sentences in Siberia for previous tax evasion and fraud convictions in 2005. Both men have been detained since 2003.
An inquiry into the second Khodorkovsky-Lebedev trial, conducted by the Presidential Council of the Russian Federation for Civil Society and Human Rights, identified serious and widespread violations of the law. It found no valid legal basis or evidence supporting the guilty verdicts. The Council called for annulment of the verdicts and the release of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev filed an appeal of their 2010 convictions at the Supreme Court in February 2012. The Supreme Court ignored procedural rules and issued the ruling long past the deadline.
Amnesty International believes there is a political context to the arrest and continuous prosecution of these men and that their trials were unfair. We call for release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. We would appreciate your responding to our call for these men's release.
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