The Day of Political Prisoners is not a free holiday. But several thousand people gathered on 30 October to remember the millions of people who had suffered from the “Red Terror” for their thoughts and views during the soviet period. In Yekaterinburg, Nakhodka, Penza Rostov, Ryazan, Syktyvkar and Moscow people lit a candle and, in memory of the victims, stood for a minute of silence. (20-NOV-2005)
The first protest took place on 30 October 1974 and was marked by a general hunger-strike by political prisoners in all camps and prisons. The idea of conducting this protest by all political prisoners of the Soviet Union was thought out by several prisoners in the Republic of Mordovia (one of the regione which had a large concentration of prison camps) and was distributed by covert ways between all prison camps and colonies over a period of several months. After then on 30 October all prisoners went on hunger-strike.
It shouldn’t be repeated!
This year the memory of political prisoners was led in many Russian towns. In Ryazan, Andrey Blinushov, the chairman of Rayzan human rights society “Memorial” and the editor of the Human Rights Network Group said in his speech at the memorial service that new political prisoners had appeared again in Russia: the scientists Igor Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov, the lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin, and businessmen Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.
Two thousand people gathered near the Memory Stone for Political Prisoners in Moscow. It was called “the march of disagreement”. Eugeny Ikhlov, the head of the analytic department for the movement “For human Rights” said that it was the first time since the soviet period when they could say that the quantity of political prisoners today in the Russian Federation is like in the 1980’s. It was remarkable that, at every memorial ceremony, in every town, people pronounced the same idea: “We need to do everything possible to not allow this tragedy to repeat in Russia”.