Garry Kasparov: “Alexey Pichugin is Putin’s Political Prisoner for 14 Years and Russia Ignores EU Court Decisions. I’m here to testify“
I’m in Strasbourg, France, to speak at a “side event” at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The focus is the longest-held political prisoner in Putin’s Russia, Alexey Pichugin. For refusing to give false testimony against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Pichugin has spent 14 years some of in the worst prisons in Russia as a martyr of Putin’s system of injustice and repression. The European Court of Human Rights recently decided that Pichugin’s rights were violated and that he failed to receive a fair trial. Of course, the only judge or jury that matters in Russia today is Vladimir Putin, and he will continue to laugh at the European Court’s decisions.
My effort is not only to draw attention to Pichugin’s suffering, which has been overlooked especially since Khordorkovsky himself was released in 2013 after more than a decade of unjust incarceration. Another element is how Putin’s Russia is making a mockery of European courts and concepts of justice by repeatedly ignoring decisions against it, including those on Pichugin’s behalf. There is no point in continuing to allow Putin’s sham justice system to participate in these institutions, and doing so only weakens their credibility. PACE and the ECHR can strike a blow against lawlessness in the name of Alexey Pichugin by expelling Putin’s lawless rogue state.