SOLIDARITY REQUEST: Russian Gay Activist Sued

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Thu Sep 26 10:17:02 MDT 2002


 

Please consider sending a fax or making a phone call to show solidarity in
this case.



Member of Socialist Resistance (CIS-CWI) taken to court for 'slander'.

Member of the Yaroslavl CWI group Sergei Kozlovskii is being sued in court
for the sum of 50000 rubles (almost 2000 euros) by a Tamara Dadianova, a
well known "patriotic" writer with close links to the local authorities. She
is also suing the local TV station for 500000 euros.

Sergei was participating in a cultural evening when he was asked to comment
on the poetry readings. As he came to the stage, Dadianova, who it seems may
have had something to drink screamed at Sergei "Extremist, queer, get off"
and some of her friends attempted to force Sergei violently out of the hall.
Sergei, who is a leading member of the CWI is known as a campaigner for gay
rights in Yaraslavl.

A few days later, Sergei was interviewed by the local television about the
incident, when he told what happened and referred to the obvious state of
inebriation of those involved.

Dadianova has taken him and the TV station to court claiming he has damaged
her business reputation as a "academic known throughout the world".

At the first court hearing on 13th September the political nature of the
case became clear. Even before the case was heard, the judge hearing the
case attacked Sergei with phrases such as "you should be ashamed of
insulting an elderly woman" and "has your participation in Yaroslavl Attac
influenced you". The trial has all the elements of a show trial. According
to Russian law, the judge has to ask all witnesses to leave the hall before
the start of the trial. This she failed to do and this was then used as an
excuse to rule out all of those witnesses who had come to give evidence in
Sergei¹s favour. Throughout the hearing Dadianova insulted Sergei with
reference to his sexual orientation. There are numerous other breaches of
procedure. 

For someone in Sergei¹s position, the threatened fine will be impossible to
pay and he could face imprisonment. He can not afford professional legal
assistance and is relying on legal advice given by members and supporters of
the CWI. 

The hearing reconvenes on 24th September.

The CWI in Russia is demanding:
· The current judge is removed from the case

· That all witnesses wishing to give evidence are heard in the court

· That the case against Sergei is immediately dropped

· That those who attacked Sergei at the "cultural evening" are brought to
justice. 

· An end to the political repression of left and gay activists in Yaroslavl.
Please send protests to:

Leninskii Regional Court , 150040 Yaroslavl, ul Nekrasova 71, Telephone 0852
- 231243 

Victor Leonidovich Shirshov, Head of public affairs Yaroslavl Region

Telephone 0852 302867, Fax 007 852 303620

Telecompany "Nezavisimoye Telemedia", 150003 Yaroslavl, ul Sovetskaya 69
Tel 0852 251923

With copies of protests please to pabgem at online.ru <mailto:pabgem at online.ru> 


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