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Khodorkovsky: The Brutal Conveyor Belt of Russian Justice

Mikhail Khodorkovsky published an opinion article in Nezavisimaya Gazeta today.  Below is an excerpt from the English translation, the full version of which can be found here.

Every year, the judicial-and-police conveyor belt devours the human dignity and the fates of hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens – who end up in jails, who are separated from kith and kin or who “simply” lose their property. Here too belong the fates of the real victims, the ones the System has no need for. Those who end up getting caught in the grindstone don’t get out without losses. The conveyor belt paralyzes with fear and destroys the life energy of millions.

But this conveyor belt is not eternal. For one thing, because every year it creates many thousands of people who loathe the System.

The question of the day now is not about the economy or about the decline in entrepreneurial activity. The question is simple and direct:

– either the criminal conveyor belt System is destroyed, while thoseparts of it that any country truly does need are made to comply withthe Constitution – something that will require will and decisive actionon the part of the country’s top political leadership;

– or its destruction will take place in the traditional way for Russia – from below, and with the spilling of blood.

And anything at all can become the detonator of the explosion.