Thursday, December 09, 2010

Planet Gulag (#10)

The world has many Liu Xiaobos. Here are 15 who matter.

FOREIGN POLICY

TEXT BY FREEDOM HOUSE | DECEMBER 9, 2010








MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY AND PLATON LEBEDEV
Russia

On July 2, 2003, Lebedev, director of Group Menatep, a holdings company that was the majority shareholder of the Yukos oil company, was arrested from his hospital bed on charges of tax evasion, embezzlement, and fraud. This arrest was widely seen as a warning to Khodorkovsky, then president of Yukos. A mere four months later, on Oct. 25, 2003, Khodorkovsky -- who had become an influential advocate for economic and political reform -- was arrested at gunpoint on a private plane, on the same charges.

On May 31, 2005, both men were found guilty and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, despite a ruling by the Supreme Court stating that Lebedev's arrest was illegal. Both men are subject to inhumane and degrading treatment in prison. Lebedev has repeatedly been refused independent medical attention despite his failing health. Both men are currently on trial together facing new embezzlement charges. If found guilty, both men could receive sentences of an additional 14 years in prison on top of the eight years they have already served. From prison, Khodorkovsky has gained significant attention writing and speaking out against Russia's current authoritarian path and arguing for greater adherence to the rule of law.


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home