Ilya Yashin, the organizer of a public rally in front of the FSB building on Lubyanska Square on 12 June and head of Yabloko's youth branch, was scheduled to appear in a Moscow court on 14 June for vastly underestimating the number of attendees ahead of the event, "Kommersant-Daily" and "Vremya novostei" reported on 14 June. Yashin had permission for the rally from Moscow authorities but had said that only 250 people would participate; by some estimates as many as 1,500 showed up. The meeting, which was organized under the slogan "I am free and have forgotten what fear means," was held in support of former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovskii and other people the organizers consider to be political prisoners, "Vremya novostei" reported. Yashin told Ekho Moskvy on 13 June that the rally's success shows that this is the "era of street politics." He continued: "The reason is obvious: There is no public politics in this country. Political censorship has been imposed on central television and in all significant media. People have no opportunity to debate the most important and vital problems of their country's life. That's why they take to the street to discuss them."
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.