Final court statement of anarchist Alexandra Dukhanina (Naumova), charged with violence against police during an opposition rally in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, made in a Moscow court on February 5, 2014.
At first I thought that this entire case is some sort of mad mistake and nonsense. But now, after listening to the speeches by prosecutors and after finding out what are the imprisonment terms that they demanded for all of us, I realized that they take revenge on all of us. They take revenge because we’ve been there and we saw how it was all really happening. Who provoked the crushing, how the people were being beaten, the unjustified cruelty. They take revenge on us because we did not cave in to them and did not admit our non-existent guilt. Neither during investigation nor during the trial. They also take revenge because I did not help them with their lies and refused to answer their questions.
It must be some weighty thing that I’m guilty of, and it deserves to be punished with six years in a penal colony. There weren’t any other ones worthy of such punishment, just we are left: they are afraid of real criminals, the strangers who stood in their way were imprisoned, and they aren’t touching any of their own. It is up to you, your honour, to decide how to help them become more happy at the expense of our fates, how they can get new appointments, ranks and awards.
But, after all, why six years? What are the “at least eight aimed throws” that I made? Where did they come from? Who was I aiming at and whom did I hit? At eight different police officers? Or eight times at the two police officers that I was charged with attacking? If so, how many times, and which of them? Where are the answers to all these questions? After all, they should first give detailed descriptions and proof, and only then imprison – after all, it’s six years of life, it’s no laughing matter. But now it doesn’t even look like a lie, it’s lying demagoguery without facts, and playing with people’s lives. What if they had 188 videos, not eight, would they have then said that I made 188 throws?
There are two OMON riot police officers whom I subjected to violence, you’d seen them. They are twice of thrice as big as I am, and they also wore body armour. One of them did not feel anything at all, the other one was not harmed by me and made no claim against me. Is that the mass rioting and violence that I’m supposed to be imprisoned for for six years?
Oh, I forgot about the kvass – the bottle alone is worth five years, and eight targeted throws may account for the remaining year. Now they should tell me that, at least I will know the price of kvass. And can they also tell me, where do my mass disorders start and end and where does violence against officers start? And what is the difference between these two things? I somehow did not understand: what arson? Attacks? Destruction of property? And where am I in all of that? What was I breaking? What did I set on fire? What did I destroy? With whom did I set up a conspiracy? What proves any of that? In short, do I get four years under Article 212 [of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, dealing with mass rioting] simply for being there? So, my presence at an originally peaceful rally is my mass rioting that I took part in? There’s nothing else apart from that!
Look at these people. They are not murderers, thieves or fraudsters. Imprisoning us all would be not just unfair, it would be mean.
Many people have suggested that I confess, apologize, say what the investigators wanted to hear, but you know, I don’t find it necessary to apologize to these people. It is a custom in this country that [law-enforcement officers] are absolutely untouchable, although there are many reported cases of them running protection rackets for drug dealers, prostitution, rape. Recently there was a case like that in Lipetsk Region.
The contents of the charges made against all of us are not just ridiculous, it is absurd and is only based on OMON riot police officers’ statements. So what do we have here, if a person has epaulets, he is a priori honest and holy?
Your honour, in the eight months of this trial you have received from defence enough proof of all of us being innocent, so if you sent us to a [prison] camp, you will cripple lives and fates for nothing!
Do the authorities want so badly to show how we are being punished that they are ready for such a thing? To give a suspended sentence to an official, a rapist or a police officer for [indiscernible] is normal: they are the untouchable, they are one of your own. But we can languish in prison – after all, who are we, we aren’t even rich. But for some reason I am sure that even in prison I will be more free than many of them, because I have clear conscience, and those who will stay free, continuing with their so-called defence of order and freedom, will live in an eternal cage with their accomplices.
I can admit my mistakes, and if by truth and facts I could be told and persuaded that I did something illegal, I would have admitted that. But no-one has ever explained anything: there were only blatant lies and brute force. By force they can strangle, carry… [indiscernible], and it was all done to me. But by force or lies you cannot prove anything. And no-one proved any of my guilt. I am certain that I am right and innocent.
I would like to finish with a quote from “Tale of Cipollino” by Gianni Rodari:
“- My poor father! You have been banged up like a criminal, with thieves and bandits.
– What are you talking about, son, – his father interrupted him. – There are lots of honest people in prison!
– But why are they locked up? What were the bad things that they did?
– Exactly nothing, son. That’s why they’ve been locked up. Prince Lemon does not like decent people.
– So, to be in prison is big honour? – he asked.
– So it turns out. Prisons were built for those who steal and kill, but under Prince Lemon’s rule everything is the other way around, thieves and murderers are in his palace, and honest people are in prison.”
More on Alexandra Dukhanina: http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Alexandra_Dukhanina