Appeal against cooperation between Moscow police and murderers of Aleksander Ryuhin!
Currently police in Moscow wants to let people who murdered Aleksander Ryuhin on his way to a punk hardcore concert 16th of April 2006 to walk away in impunity. People are organising to stop this from happening, you may participate to effort by signing the letter below and sending it to the addresses in end of this message by fax and by mail.
Stanislav Markelov, who is one of the most famous human rights lawyers in Russia is currently defending interests of mother of Aleksander Ryuhin, but he has a lot of work to turn the course of the events, as fascist murderers of Ryuhin have influential supporters, among them Duma deputies.
Three of the six murderers of Ryuhin are currently on the run. Pictures of one of them have been published in forum of liberal antifa.ru website, http://www.antifa.ru/yforum/showthread.php?t=2434.
Below goes the English translation of the protest letter, then Russian version which you may sign and send to three addresses in the end of this letter. It is for sure more effective if you may fax or post signed letter yourself, but in case this is impossible, you may also sign the letter as a petition in http://www.petitiononline.com/ryuhin/petition.html
We have learned from relatives of died anti-fascist Sasha Ryuhin, and their lawyer, that investigator who is working with case of murder of Ryuhin is violating the current criminal process codex of Russian Federation, and prosecutor and investigation are consciously attempting to belittle guiltiness of the accused.
Vasili Reutskii, Andrei Andchiferov and Aleksandr Shitov, who are currently on remand, were cleared of murder charges by splitting the case to two separate ones. Right now they are facing charges under statute 213 of Russian Criminal Codex, second part (hooliganism, made with a group of persons with a preliminary agreement or by an organised group), statute 115 (Conscious moderate bodily harm) and statute 116 (maltreatment). Only those who are searched are accused of murder. Such an approach is contradicting Russian criminal process codex - two different punishments may not be given for one crime.
Investigator V.A. Pashkevich is using means, popular among criminals - all guiltiness is laid on those who are dead or on the run.
Lawyer of mother of Sasha Ryuhin, Stanislav Markelov says that accused, who are currently under search warrant, will most likely manage to hide forever as investigation is doing next to nothing in order to find them. Investigation did not even interrogated many of the witnesses, who were on spot of the murder. Thus fascists, who acted with a group and with a preliminary agreement, will receive a minor punishment or will escape it alltogether. As they will be certain of their impunity, they will go for similar actions in future as well.
It is known, that accused are members of ultra-right extremist group "Slavic Union", "Format 18" and "United Brigade 88". According to human rights organisations, just during a year fascists have committed dozens of crimes motivated with national hatred. Plenty of people have been killed or wounded. Lately fascist violence has spread also to people with other political points of view, among them Aleksander Ryuhin.
We demand to stop cooperation between prosecutor, investigation and fascist murderers.
Source: Liberty and Socialist Organization “Autonomous Action”, http://avtonom.org/index.php?nid=524
From knives to explosives. The new wave of Nazi terror in Russia
Last Wednesday, December 27, 2006, the case of the murder of a 20-year-old (more precisely 9 days short of his 20th birthday) antifascist Alexander Ryuchin was taken to the court. On 16th of April 2006 Alexander was stabbed to death in the outskirts of Moscow on his way to a punk-hardcore show (punk-hardcore music is popular among young Moscow antifascists). A few skinheads attacked him and his friend Egor. Actually there was no fight - there was a murder.
Three attackers have been detained. Police found Nazi attributes and literature in their apartments. The other three of them went into hiding. It may seem that everything is clear. But don’t rush to make your conclusions. The case has been brought to a court not under the murder clause. The detainees, two members of Slavonic Union - Vasily Reutov and Andrey Antsiferov, as well as a member of the group “Format 18” Alexander Shitov are to be charged of “hooliganinism, conducted by the group of individuals through a deliberate collusion or organized group" (Art. 213. 2 CC RF), “Willful infliction of the light damage to a health“ (Art. 115 CC RF) and for “beating” (Art. 116 CC RF). And the case of the murder has been given to separate procedure, and the accused of it are Alexander Parinov and Nikita Tikhonov (both were gone into hiding) and also one unidentified person.
The attorney Stanislav Markelov, who represents the mother of the killed, Tatyana Ryukhina, has informed the reporter of REGNUM agency: “Everything is being done in order to decrease the level of social danger of Reutov’s, Antsiferov’s and Shitov’s actions. There is a pretty cynical but working rule: if there is corpse there is a case of ‘Murder”. And I’m very concerned that the case of the murder of antifascist by the activists of right wing radicals became an exclusion form this rule”.
Another strange thing of the same kind is that the case of the murder of another 20-year-old young antifascist from Saint Petersburg Timur Kacharava currently still has not been given to the court. He was also stabbed to death by the radical right wing adherents who attacked him and his friend Maxim on 13th of November 2005 in the very center of Saint Petersburg, near the “Bukvoed” bookshop on Ligovsky Avenue. It’s a busy place, the parking place of tourist buses leaving for Finland, next to it there is the Moscow train station. There was no fight either. They rushed upon him, stabbed him several times with knife. One of them got onto the neck of Timur and became fatal.
This issue was widely a spoken crime of the last year and the attackers had been detained by December 2005. The governor Valentina Matvienko and the speaker of the Federation Council Sergey Mironov were making declarations about the Nazi character of the murder and about the need to fight down the display of xenophobia in the Northern capital of Russia. However the case is being hanged heavy, and the Petersburg antifascists begin to believe that this case will also be smothered, by charging the detainees of hooliganism, and by limiting the charge by insignificant, if not even - suspended period.
And finally there is one more issue, completely fresh. On Friday, December 22, 2006 in the south-eastern part of Moscow called Lyublino, there was an explosion of self-made bomb in the apartment house. On the wall there was an image of swastika, the explosive can has been hidden beneath a heating radiator, and apparently it has been activated by the wire, that was connecting the bomb and the tablet with an offensive nationalist inscription: “The residents of the flat are black***”
The bomb, and rather the tablet, has been detected in the daytime by 20-year-old Tigran, who lives in that flat. He could have touched the bomb, but saw the wires in time. He wasn’t able to see the bomb, but decided to call the police. The police detachment arrived to the place with cynologist and the special dog after a while. During a mine-clearing of device it exploded.
This event has been mentioned in press as the next attack of nationalists on non-Slavonic residents of Moscow. Saying, that another Armenian young man was able to escape becoming a victim of right wing radicals - a banal story for the modern Moscow, no matter how terrible it may seem. Quite banally the Office of Public Prosecutor initiated a criminal case on hooliganism - no murderous assault …Tigran has been interrogated as witness (not as a victim!).
However this event is not simple. Tigran - who was born in Moscow is a son of Moscow resident parents (there has been already an absurd and false version in circulation in the press, that he is living in Moscow with the family only some ten years). He is not merely “a young man from Caucasus”. He is a - Moscow antifascist, ex-worker of www.antifa.ru web site. Besides that, as his dead coevals Timur Kacharava and Alexander Ryukhin, Tigran is a fan of punk-hardcore music.
To all appearances, Tigran should have been the third in the list of killed young antifa. His photograph has been posted in Nazi web sites, he has been threatened several times, on the walls of the construction site in from of his house one could see Swastika, with writings: "Tigran, say hello to Timur". Several times he has been attacked before/after the punk-hardcore gigs, several times he was bumping into people with bonehead outlook (boneheads, or bones - the way Nazi-skinheads are called by antifascists to avoid confusion with skinheads-antifascists, who do exist). Tigran is quite tough guy and was always the winner in any skirmish.
And now there was a bomb.
The political aspect, that is being ignored by the Office of Public Prosecutor, through initiation of the criminal case on relatively slight clauses in Tigran’s case, is noticed by the Federal Defence Service of RF (FSB). While police was interrogating him as a witness, the members of FSB visited his mother at home (the door had been deformed by the explosion and couldn’t be shut) and using woman’s emotional shock took away some things like: pins with the crossed out swastika, stripes, but most important - the computer, said Tigran.
Tigran has even a certificate of impressments of the computer from FSB members - all materials for his term papers and exams are not available now, something has to be replied in the college.
I would like to emphasize: as far as I know neither Timiur Kacharava, nor Alexander Ryukhin were not members of any antifascist organizations, they were just following their own antifascist views and were people of quite active living positions. Timur was playing in antifascist hardcore band, on Sundays he was feeding the homeless people with hot food (homeless, or, according to old militia terminology, bums, if anybody doesn’t know yet – they are another object of hatred by young Nazi, along with non-Slavs and representatives of several youth subcultures - punks, rappers). Sasha was carrying out the propaganda on his own: he was designing on computer and distributing self-made antifascist stickers (some of such stickers were found in his pocket after his murder). Tigran was also not a member of any organization, but was helping an antifascist web site, when he was not busy with education.
In reply to my question, whether Tigran was taking part in fights with Nazis, he said with affirmation: "Of course. If they attack us what should we do? Should we give up then?".
"Nazis made us antifascists, - a former member of antifa.ru continues. - We all belong to some subcultures, to some groups, whose representatives were clashing with fascist violence, and thus becoming a target for their attacks. In one particular moment you stop respecting yourself if you’re not responding the strike with a strike. Especially if police and the state as a whole don’t do anything in general, in order to stop the street fascist danger”.
"We, young antifascists, are sometimes being accused, - Tigran continues, – that, if we were not present, Nazis would already calm down. Saying that we are acting is as a teasing red flag to them. If there would be no antifascists, say those who accuse us, – the street Nazi violence would come to naught. Everything is completely conversely.
Antifa had not been presented long enough and finally they appeared as a reaction to the Nazi violence that was not stopping, but rather getting larger and larger. And everybody knows that at first Nazi were attacking people of non-Slavonic outlook and normal representatives of youth subcultures who were weaker. Antifa appeared later - as a response of informal antifascist youth".
"Look, - Tigran says, - fascists, when attack, often pursue an objective of mutilating or killing their victim, they use knives and even guns. Antifas, when fighting with fascists, do not pursue an objective of physical elimination or disabling. Fascists just should understand that their presence is not eternal, they are not immortal, and they have to understand the value of human life, the value of every individual on their own example. Maybe, small, underage Nazis, teens, who shaved their heads because it’s cool, because now everybody will be afraid of them, after getting punched several times from normal guys, will understand that there is nothing cool in it, to be a fascist, - no. Maybe at least some of them would stop ".
Tigran thinks, however, Nazis in general - as a street violent movement - couldn’t be stopped by just fights. This is just containment, the defense of youth subcultures against Nazis. "If they wouldn’t be put in jail, Nazi idiots following their sense of impunity will begin doing much worse things. In their private forums in internet they are already discussing the preparation of terrorist acts on markets and even in state departments, but didn’t decided yet - whether make the newcomers guilty of it or whether take the responsibility on themselves". "How do you know?" - I ask Tigran. - "Our antifa hackers have broken such forums several times ", - he answers. According to him, on the same forums there are reference books on preparing and using self-made explosives, same as the one that exploded in the entrance of his apartment house.
"How do you feel after that event?" - I asked him. "It’s ok. Friends helped me to repair the door, they gathered some money. Now we need money for a good attorney, we got to find them. Now we have something to be busy with. But somehow it seems that my door is just about to be blown up".
Doesn’t he afraid that the unexpected guests will come upon again? "They were already here - in the night after explosion, when the door was not closing. At four o’clock there was a ring on the remote entrance phone - a young cheeky voice, saying a telegram. Later on, they were walking in the entrance. Some of them were hiding their faces under a scarf or hood, poking by the door, up along the staircase and down. My cat in pricked up its ears, I looked into the peephole, and I saw - "guests". I asked sister to call the police again, and rushed to the staircase to chase them. But in home slippers you can’t run fast, I couldn’t catch them up. And the police too, even if they came with automatic-guns quite quickly, apparently they were guarding somewhere close".
This entire phantasmagoria is really taking place now in Moscow before New Year. And crowding it out of comprehension, by referring it to a raging of the young blood, desire to kick up a row and team fight, is getting harder for me personally. Knives were already in use. Now explosives are in use.
It’s absolutely obvious, that the question requires not only the consideration of the police, but of the politics, and pedagogy too. Is the official initiative of “Nashy” that declared themselves as a democratic antifascist movement enough? Obviously, not.
Politicians, that don’t want to give up the antifascist theme to Kremlin and its political agents, must think how to react to new circumstances avoiding standardized methods.
Fascism and xenophobia - is not merely another trump-card in election campaign in the marked pack of cards of authorities, it’s a social reality. Those who were not brought to reason by the “Russian March” should have been brought to reason by the street Nazi terror. But, apparently, opposition politicians, coming in their cars to carry out discussions or joint demonstrations with nationalists (which they think, to be “moderate”) don’t take the streets into account in general. And the fact that these streets are being bossed by Nazis, too.
Often these issues are ignored by mass media. In one of the respected newspapers recently I have been told, that the statement of some antifa.ru out there, regarding the murder of Sasha Ryukhin - is not yet an informational cause. "Moreover, they are unregistered", - said the editor looking strictly into my eyes. I don’t’ know, whether they are registered or not. I know that in order to take the knife and make a bomb, there is no need for registration. And Nazis know it very well.
30 December 2006, 09:29
Original text in Russian: polit.ru/analytics/2006/12/30/antifa.html