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Why does the Karelian region Investigative Committee prosecute me?

Maxim Efimov, chair of Youth Human Rights Group Karelia, blogger, journalist.

Why does the Karelian region Investigative Committee prosecute you?

I reveal a lot of blemishes in Russian state system, criticize authorities, help people to fight for their human rights. I inform society and federal authorities about corruption and crimes of different kinds of public servants in my region Karelia (near Finland). Corruption and impunity lend the air of hopeless and despondency. These bad things often happen in our not the rule of law state. Moreover the prosecution was urged by local branch of Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), despite the fact that Karelian eparchy has not made any formal complaints. But we know how it works. The head of the Karelian eparchy Manuil in Soviet period actively collaborated with the KGB (Committee for State Security) – criminal state organization in communist times. The words “orthodox spawn” was a formal reason to prosecute me. This is the incredibly stupid reason. This criminal case demonstrates the idiocy of our Russian state system.

Did you criticize ROC?

As a lot of my compatriots I associate ROC with Russian state. Our State is definitely a religious rather than secular as it is written in the Constitution. And it seems to me that some of my critical texts make extremely good reading for karelian investigators and FSB (Federal Security Service) staff- it is former KGB. If you allow yourself criticize state structures – in fact ROC is a state structure – first you keep them on the alert, second you seem them a visitor, third you become an offender for state. To be a democrat, liberal, Human Rights defender is abnormal and riskily in Russia. This is the only reason why I am prosecuted. Of course, it seems odd and awful for intelligent people but it is Russian reality. My computer was confiscated during the search to which the court readily gave permission. All these actions of the authorities I have appealed. I experienced a lot of stress and i have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have no computer and I can not afford to do my work. Things still go wrong, but I do not lose heart.

Youth Human Rights Group Karelia

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