Sergei Magnitsky Justice Campaigners Demand Transparent Investigation into the Suspicious Death in Moscow of Russian Actor and Civil Rights Activist Alexei Devotchenko

November 6, 2014

Sergei Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign­ers Demand Trans­par­ent Inves­ti­ga­tion into the Sus­pi­cious Death in Moscow of Russ­ian Actor and Civil Rights Activist Alexei Devotchenko

6 Novem­ber 2014 — Cam­paign­ers for Jus­tice for Sergei Mag­nit­sky demand a trans­par­ent inves­ti­ga­tion into yesterday’s sus­pi­cious death in Moscow of Russ­ian actor, civil activist, and a friend of the Mag­nit­sky cam­paign Alexei Devotchenko.

Alexei Devotchenko was one of the few free voices left in Rus­sia who had not been killed, arrested or forced into exile because of his way of thinking.

He was bravely speak­ing out against the polit­i­cal repres­sion, klep­toc­racy and human rights vio­la­tions endorsed by Pres­i­dent Putin’s regime. Three years ago, in an act of protest against cor­rup­tion and polit­i­cal cen­sor­ship, Alexei Devotchenko returned the state hon­ours which had been per­son­ally awarded to him by Pres­i­dent Putin in recog­ni­tion of his accom­plish­ments as an out­stand­ing actor. He explained it in an inter­view to Novy Region 2: “I am com­pletely fed up with this tzardom-statedom. With its lies, cover-ups, state-sanctioned rob­bery, bribery and other virtues…” (http://www.newsinfo.ru/news/2011 – 11-21/devotchenko/766105/). Shortly after­wards, he was attacked on a Moscow under­ground. Details of this inci­dent were reported on his face­book.
Last year, Alexei Devotchenko was a promi­nent fig­ure at the memo­r­ial cer­e­mony to mark the life and death of Sergei Mag­nit­sky, held at the Sakharov cen­tre. Alexei Devotchenko read poems by Russ­ian poet and Nobel Prize lau­re­ate Joseph Brod­sky who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972. After­wards, he spoke about the dif­fi­cult choices that every free-thinking Russ­ian has to make, and whether it’s safe for him and his fam­ily to stay in the coun­try given the polit­i­cal repres­sions and blood­shed that could come of it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68UZDPLwtDY].
Yes­ter­day, Alexei Devotchenko was found dead with signs of vio­lence in a pool of blood near his apart­ment in Moscow. Despite early indi­ca­tions of a sus­pi­cious death, this morn­ing a ‘source’ in the Russ­ian law enforce­ment stated that mur­der was excluded, that the actor was a “drunk,” that the bruises were caused by glass fur­ni­ture in his apart­ment, and that a heart attack is a pos­si­ble expla­na­tion for his death (http://www.rg.ru/2014/11/06/devotchenko-site.html; http://www.interfax.ru/culture/405635).

We mourn the death of a coura­geous Russ­ian patriot Alexei Devotchenko. We believe that the Russ­ian pub­lic deserves to know what really hap­pened. We are aware of the extent of cover up that is pos­si­ble. As we know from expe­ri­ence, it would not be the first time in Rus­sia that mur­der was cov­ered up by a “heart attack” and “drunk­en­ness.” We demand that the inves­ti­ga­tion of Alexei Devotchenko’s death is con­ducted openly and trans­par­ently,” said a Sergei Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice cam­paign representative.

For more infor­ma­tion, please contact:

Mag­nit­sky Jus­tice Cam­paign
+44 2074401777
info@lawandorderinrussia.org
lawandorderinRussia.org

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