A letter-writing campaign “1001 letters to Azat Miftakhov”

The group “Solidarité FreeAzat” is organizing a campaign “1001 letters to Azat Miftakhov” of writing letters of support and encouragement to Azat Miftakhov. The letters, which will be forwarded to Azat by the campaign organizers, can be e-mailed to libertepourazat@gmail.com or submitted via one of the two google docs forms: in Russian, in English or French. Both forms provide the option of signing a standard letter. Letters submitted in English or French will be translated to Russian by the organizers before being forwarded to Azat. All of the letters will have to pass the Russian prison censors.

There have also been some recent developments in Azat’s new criminal case, on the fabricated “justifying of terrorism” charge. Azat was given a detailed charging document by the prosecution. The document heavily relies on the testimony of Azat’s former fellow prisoner at the Omutninsk colony, Trushkov, whom the FSB apparently turned into an enthusiastic cooperating witness and who provided various made-up claims to the prosecution. Like the “broken window” case, the new case also includes the testimony of a “secret” government witness.

A court in Kirov upheld various artificial administrative punishments imposed on Azat this summer at the Omutninsk colony. A subsequent appeal by Azat was denied on January 23. Azat’s lawyer will appeal further, but the chances of success are slim. Ultimately this means that after the expected conviction in the upcoming trial Azat will be held in stricter conditions as а “malicious violator of the rules.”

At a hearing on January 30 a court in Yekaterinburg extended Azat’s preliminary detention until April 16, 2024.  The court relied on the absurd pretext, based on the claims of prison informers, that, if released, Azat intends to travel to Ukraine.  Azat is still being held at SIZO in Kirov, but he is now expected to be transferred to Yekaterinburg, where the “justifying of terrorism” trial will take place. Unlike Azat’s previous trial, this trial is expected to be short and last only a few hearings, followed by a quick conviction and sentencing.

Azat very much needs the support and solidarity of the international mathematical community in this difficult time. We continue to stand with him.

The Azat Miftakhov Committee