International solidarity urged for captive Crimean anarchist Alexander Kolchenko

Alexander Kolchenko is a Crimean anarchist, social activist and antifascist who is held in captivity by the Russian authorities. Along with other Crimean activists, he has been kidnapped by the Russian FSB
(ex-KGB) and is now detained as a political hostage in Lefortovo jail in Moscow. He is charged with committing “acts of terrorism” and “belonging to a terrorist community”.

Why Alexander Kolchenko is in the jail?

Alexander, who has undeniably proved his antifascist stance over many
years, is facing preposterous accusations of belonging to “Right
Sector”, a radical Ukrainian right-wing organization, whose real role in
Ukrainian events is blown out of proportion by Russian official propaganda.

In modern Russia any activist — left-wing, anarchist or liberal — can be
slandered as a member or sympathizer of “Right Sector”. This situation
is comparable to the hunt for nonexistent “Trotskyists” under Stalin, or
the McCarthy witch-hunt for communists. Putin’s authoritarian and
nationalist regime, which uses in its propaganda everything from
religious prejudices and conspiracy theories to outright racism,
shamelessly steals “antifascist” rhetoric. And yet anyone who is
considered bothersome is called a “fascist”, even if he/she stands on
the opposite side of the political spectrum.
The case against antifascist Alexander Kolchenko and civil activist and
film director Oleg Sentsov (investigators enrolled them into the same
“terrorist” group) is political. It is meant to intimidate inhabitants
of Crimea and prevent any resistance on the peninsula. The most
authoritarian of methods are now used in annexed Crimea to repress all
discontent. Many people were obliged to leave Crimea because their life
and freedom were threatened: lawyers, left-wing activists, students and
trade union activists, anarchists, antifascists and Crimean Tatar
activists who have fallen victims of ethnic discrimination.

What threats does Alexander Kolchenko face?

A terrible prison sentence of up to 20 years threatens Alexander
Kolchenko for a non-existent “terrorist attack” in which he was not
involved. Kolchenko and other Ukrainian political prisoners are detained
only in order to demoralize opposition by show trials. Their freedom is
directly linked to the stability of the Putin regime: if we can shake
the confidence of Putin in his impunity, the prisoners will be set free.
There is no hope that Kolchenko, Sentsov and others would be judged by
the law. Their arrest was unlawful, the charges against them are
far-fetched. It's not a mistake, the regime knows what it's doing.

How can you help Alexander Kolchenko?

We're asking international left-wing and libertarian forces for help.
You can organize and lead actions of protest and solidarity, write
letters to Kolchenko, send donations for lawyers and food parcels, help
his family. It is also important to spread information about his case.
Most of all, we need to dissociate ourselves from any forces that
support aggressive expansion of Russian nationalism, even if they cover
it up with “leftist” and “anti-imperialist” rhetoric. Putin's regime is
doing just fine without your sympathy, better save it for those who have
become its victims.

When to start?

You can start right now by helping us to spread this text, translating
it into other languages and sending it to comrades. We also strongly
encourage you to organize demonstrations in support of Alexander
Kolchenko and other political prisoners jailed in Russia from April 1 to
7, 2015. On April 11 and 16 Sentsov’s and Kolchenko’s custodies end,
respectively. In the first half of April Lefortovo District Court of
Moscow will decide again whether they should await judgment in jail or
have the right to exit under the injunction not to leave or under home
arrest. Only strong and massive pressure on the Putin regime, protests
around the world would give a chance to set our comrades free. We demand
their immediate discharge and the end of their prosecution.

More information below

Interview with Alexander Kolchenko
http://noborders.org.ua/en/fields-of-work/other/aleksandr-kolchenko-i-am-not-a-terrorist-i-am-a-citizen-of-ukraine/

Repressions against Crimean activists: political context
https://avtonom.org/en/news/repressions-against-crimean-activists-political-context

Multilingual Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444685555784296/

Contact us: freekolchenko@gmail.com

German version
https://avtonom.org/de/news/schliesst-euch-den-internationalen-solidaritaetstagen-fuer-alexander-koltschenko

French version
https://avtonom.org/fr/news/rejoignez-nous-et-participez-aux-journees-internationales-de-solidarite-avec-alexandre-koltchen

Italian version
https://avtonom.org/it/news/partecipate-alle-giornate-internazionali-di-solidarieta-con-alexandre-koltchenko

Ukrainian version
http://avtonomia.net/2015/03/09/doluchajtes-do-mizhnarodnih-dniv-solidarnosti-z-oleksandrom-kolchenko-join-international-solidarity-campaign-alexander-kolchenko/

Russian version
https://avtonom.org/news/s-1-po-7-aprelya-proydet-nedelya-deystviy-v-poderzhku-aleksandra-kolchenko

Comments

SRQ
Jun 4 2015 16:44

When is conflict it can be your saviour to get arrested. During war people were prison like environment long long times voluntary, if they were seen some were they would be killed. You cant never say who is visiting your neighbour ... "left wing" at Finland ww2 example no one didnt want to kill comrades other side of border.
So confusing whole antifa at moment at this part of world
cant comment, comment afterwords when everything is clear and no danger.