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Cablegate: Detained Yabloko Leader's Case Raised

VZCZCXRO8666
OO RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0665 0671509
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071509Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7077
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000665

SIPDIS

SENSATIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KDEM PINR RS
SUBJECT: DETAINED YABLOKO LEADER'S CASE RAISED

REF: ST PETERSBURG 39

1. (SBU) On March 7, we raised our strong concern over the
detention of St. Petersburg Yabloko leader Maksim Reznik with the
Ombudsman's office and the Presidential Council on Human Rights.
Ombudsman Secretariat Chief Natalia Mirza noted that she had yet to
see the open letter sent to HR Ombudsman Lukin by prominent human
rights activists, but that the office would take up Reznik's case if
petitioned by Reznik's family, lawyer, or party. (Note: As a
founder of Yabloko, HR Ombudsman Lukin will be disposed to resolving
Reznik's case, but equally alive to the need to operate within his
legal guidelines.) Presidential Council Deputy William Smirnov told
us that the Commission was aware of Reznik's case and was currently
"considering" it.

2. (SBU) In a separate conversation, Moscow Helsinki Chairperson
Ludmilla Alekseeva stressed that Reznick's detention was political
and clearly an "ordered affair," but said she could not speculate on
whether this was an instance of local zealousness or federal
direction. Alekseeva led the list of approximately 30 human rights
and political activists, who signed an open letter to General
Procurator Chaika and HR Ombudsman Lukin, urging Rezniki's immediate
release and rejecting the charges as fabricated. The signators
termed the detention a gross violation of the criminal code.

3. (SBU) Comment: Reznik's treatment has generated a strong
public reaction here, as evidenced by the open letter. We will
continue to raise our concerns with GOR officials, and urge that
Washington doubletrack with the Russian Embassy. At this stage, we
do not believe that a public statement will further Reznik's cause.
The GOR will face additional scrutiny over the election and its
aftermath when it greets Chancellor Merkel on March 8.

RUSSELL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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