Published on November 7th, 2014 | by Admin0
A Suspicious Death in Moscow
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 – 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