Statements of Support (2003-2013) / Sasi, Kimmo

“I am very saddened that Mr Khodorkovsky is still in prison, 10 years after his imprisonment; this time in Karelia – close to my own country, Finland. Mr Khodorkovsky tried to reform ways of doing business – to be more transparent, open and to follow the western rules. Unfortunately his model wasn’t taken on because it has been a great advance for Russian economy – to have western economic rules for the businesses. But, I fact, his imprisonment was a political act by the Russian state. It has been discussed and decided upon in the court of human rights in Strasbourg. And the trial was catastrophic – there is a report written by former German Minister of Justice that clearly shows the problems. These problems were discussed in this Assembly. I urge that Mr Khodorkovsky is released. I think his input for the Russian society as a free man would be very useful. I think he would give new nuances for the politics and economic life in Russia. And I think Russia should indeed follow the human rights responsibilities it taken when it joined the Council of Europe, so that, there is the rule of law in the country and people are judged on their own merits. If Russia wants to develop – there must be freedom of speech and there may not be imprisonment on political grounds. I urge Russian authorities to release Mr Khodorkovsky. Thank you”

Kimmo Sasi, Member of Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Finland, speaking in an interview as part of the Decade of Injustice video series to mark the 10th anniversary of Khodorkovsky’s arrest, October 10, 2013