Below is a translation of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s second statement on his announced hunger strike in support of former Yukos general counsel Vasily Alexanyan, who is being denied urgent medical treatment while being held in pre-trial detention. The first statement can be read here, and more information is here. Statement In connection with the publication in the press of my declaration dated 29th of January, 2008, for the attention of the Prosecutor General of Russia, I find it necessary to explain the following: Modern Russia’s legal system has reached a new stage in its development. My friend, lawyer and former colleague, Vasily Aleksanyan is forced under torture to testify against me.
I have learned from the numerous reports in media that this very ill man is being denied medical treatment and in doing so condemning him to a certain death. They are killing him in prison because he – a courageous and honest man – refuses to lie and slander.This is all happening in the 21st Century in a nation that calls itself righteous and democratic, in a country where the necessity to ‘overcome the legal nihilism’ is loudly being declared. It is happening in the Russian Federation today, it is happening now.I realise that the people who are mistreating Vasily Aleksanyan by not giving him the opportunity of receiving treatment, are not familiar with the existence of our laws, moral and ethics. Therefore I have taken the only possible step in this situation: I declare a hunger strike.My demands:- immediately revert Vasily Aleksanyan’s preventive punishment- give Aleksanyan appropriate medical care in a public hospitalMikhail Khodorkovsky,SIZO No 75/1, Chita, Russian Federation