Russian anti-fascists and anarchists are being arrested, framed and tortured in a brutal wave of repression which has put eleven Russian anti-fascists behind bars, facing obviously fabricated charges which could see them jailed for five to twenty years each.
The repression began in autumn 2017 when six anti-fascists were arrested in Penza and had weapons and explosives planted on them. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) tortured the anti-fascists in the pre-trial detention facility by electrocuting them, beating them and hanging them upside down. While torturing them, security chiefs forced the activists to memorise the testimony the FSB wanted them to give: that they were part of a fictional terrorist group called ‘The Network’.
Two more anti-fascists were arrested in St. Petersburg at the end of January 2018 and were also beaten, electrocuted and forced to incriminate themselves by saying they were members of ‘The Network’. A third person was accused in St. Petersburg and two more from Penza have also been arrested for supposed involvement in this make-believe organisation. The FSB claims that the detainees planned to arrange explosions during the presidential elections and the World Cup to “further destabilise the political situation in the country”.
After knowledge of the fabricated court cases and horrific torture became widespread, solidarity actions started to take place, but this led to more repression. Some Russian activists who took part were detained, electrocuted and had criminal proceedings started against them – just for expressing solidarity.
This repression of anti-fascists comes at a time when the Russian state are working with gangs of far-right thugs to repress the whole of civil society. One poignant example of this happened ten years ago, two Russian anti-fascists, journalist Anastasia Baburova and lawyer Stanislav Markelov, were murdered by fascists in broad daylight on 19 January. Every year, Russian anarchists and anti-fascists gather to remember them.
On Saturday 19 January 2019 we are calling for everybody opposed to racism, xenophobia, fascism and the upsurge of far-right populism sweeping the world to join us on the streets to express our solidarity with Russian anti-fascists. The demonstration will start at the Cable Street mural near Shadwell station, east London and will feature speakers and a rally.
This demonstration is supported by:
Brazilian Women against Fascism
London Anarchist Blackcross
North London Anti-Fascists
Plan C LDN
Please email london19jan(at)riseup.net to add your organisation to the list of supporters.