IT IS IMMORAL TO SUPPORT
THE HYPOCRISY OF THE RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES
An appeal by former political prisoners
concerning today’s opening of a monument in Moscow, the Wall of Sorrow, dedicated to victims of political repression in Soviet-era Russia.
30 October 2017
As former political prisoners and participants in the Democratic Movement in the Soviet Union, we consider the opening in Moscow of a monument to the “victims of political repression” to be untimely and hypocritical. A monument is a tribute to the past, yet acts of political repression in Russia not only continue – they are increasing.
In sponsoring the opening of the monument, the present Russian regime is pretending that acts of political repression are a thing of the distant past: the victims of such political repression, therefore, may be commemorated. We believe that today’s political prisoners in Russia are no less deserving of our help and attention than the respect and remembrance we owe to the victims of the Soviet regime.
We cannot mourn the past, while hypocritically closing our eyes to the present. We cannot divide the victims of political repression into those who have earned a monument and those whom we do not yet recognise. We must not participate in the commemorative events of a regime, which regrets in word the victims of the Soviet regime, but keeps committing acts of political repression and crushing civil liberties in Russia. We must not allow an authoritarian regime to open a memorial to the victims of political repression while it continues to act in a lawless and arbitrary manner. It is, at the very least, immoral to cooperate with the regime in this respect.
There is no doubt that a monument to the victims of political repression should be erected in Moscow. That can only happen, however, when there are no more political prisoners in the country, when their jailers and executioners have been punished, and when acts of political repression cease to be the subject of news reports, instead becoming a matter for historical study alone.
Andrew Grigorenko (USA)
Arina Ginzburg (France)
Bohdan Horyn (Ukraine)
Vardan Harutyunyan (Armenia)
Vasyl Ovsienko (Ukraine)
Victor Fainberg (Paris)
Vladimir Bukovsky (United Kingdom)
Gabriel Superfin (Germany)
David Berdzinishvili (Georgia)
Igor Guberman (Israel)
Igor Kalinets (Ukraine)
Iosif Zissels (Ukraine)
Kuzma Matviyuk (Ukraine)
Lagle Parek (Estonia)
Levan Berdzinishvili (Georgia)
Levko Lukyanenko (Ukraine)
Mart Niklus (Estonia)
Mikola Gorbal (Ukraine)
Mikola Matushevich (Ukraine)
Miroslav Marinovich (Ukraine)
Mikhail Rivkin (Israel)
Mustafa Dzhemilev (Crimea - Ukraine)
Oles Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Olga Geiko (Ukraine)
Pavel Litvinov (USA)
Raisa Rudenko (Ukraine)
Sinaver Kadyrov (Crimea - Ukraine)
Tatyana Yankelevich-Bonner (USA)
Eduard Kuznetsov (Israel)
Yuriy Shukhevych (Ukraine)
Monday, 30 October 2017
NOTE: Unless otherwise stated the signatory comes from Russia.
Information about the human rights activities of many of the signatories can be found either in A Chronicle of Current Events (1968-1982) or in the USSR News Brief (1978-1992; in Russian)
https://vestiizsssr.wordpress.com (in Russian)
Translated from Russian by John Crowfoot, Rights in Russia