Khodorkovsky’s Message Ahead of Moscow Mayoral Elections

September 5, 2013

“I have known Sergey Semenovich for a long time. He is not a bad person, despite being on “Putin’s team”. It is possible that this is a good political choice for Moscow. But between what is right politically and what is justified morally, one should choose the latter. If we are human beings, and not “political animals”.

And morally we should try and help an innocent person to avoid a jail sentence, which may become eternal for him just as it did for me. Today we have already seen trials of businesspeople, activists and passers-by, students and managers, of everyone who seeks changes in the country. Today people get prosecuted for dances, for paintings, for an independent inquiry and for their civil position. This already happened in our history some forty years ago: show trials of dissidents accompanied by mass emigration, wiretapping, surveillance, searches, intimidation, hunting those who had a different opinion and who was not indifferent.  The result was a general depression and economic stagnation.

Hatred and lack of trust do not help societies. My dear Muscovites, on September 8 we can show that we are citizens of our country rather than a herd, and that we want to live differently: more decently, more kindly and more justly.

I am sure Alexey Navalny will not be allowed to become a mayor, but a million of your voices may save the person from rotting in jail. And this alone is worth going to the voting station.”