[ABC-Moscow] Appeal to support Ilya Romanov

Dear friends! We ask you to support Ilya Romanov, Russian anarchist accused of ‘terrorism’, who has already spent a year in prison. ABC-Moscow included him in the list of anarchist political prisoners.

On 26 October 2013 46-year-old anarchist Ilya Romanov was wounded in the city of Nizhnii Novgorod. The explosion which occurred late at night severely injured his left hand and burned his face. Ilya was taken to hospital where doctors amputated his arm. Romanov explained to the police that he unwarily used a pyrotechnic device. In December 2013 Romanov was charged with Article 205 and Article 30 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation (“attempt to commit a terrorist attack”). But there is no reason for terrorism charges because there is no corpus delicti. Article 205 implies committing acts “of frightening people and endangering their lives, causing significant property damage or other serious consequences in order to influence decision-making authorities or international organizations”. It is obvious that in this situation there could be no intimidation, no danger of death or significant property damage as a firecracker was too weak for that, and Ilya was hurt only because it exploded right in his hands. FSB investigators decided to make «the very important case» from this story to justify their existence. They planted two files with leaflets into Ilya friend’s computer. The investigators claim that Ilya was going to spread political appeals after the bomb attack on an institution but hasn’t manage to do it because of the explosion. FSB uses Ilya’s past as an important evidence of his intentions to commit a terrorist act.

The investigation will be finished in two months and we need money for linguistic examination of the planted files, inviting the specialists to the court and to pay the lawyer. We managed to collect money for one year of lawyer’s work and for two independent examinations. But now we are in serious lack of money. We need about 2300 euro and we have only 750 euro.

If you wish to make donations to the comrade through paypal, you may contact the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow at: abc-msk(at)riseup.net

Ilya got involved in anarchist movement in the late 80’s in Nizhni Novgorod, which was back then named Gorky. One of his first actions in the Soviet era was publication of an anarchist leaflet, almost all copies of which ended up in KGB archives.

This is the third time he is suspected of involvement in armed struggle. First time he was detained in Moscow in October, 1998, as a suspected member of underground armed group “New Revolutionary Alternative”. Eventually he was sentenced to compulsory treatment in mental hospital, and released in turn of year 2002.

Ilya did not enjoy freedom long: as early as in December 2002 he was detained in the Ukraine, as one of the suspected members of underground revolutionary organization. Eventually, he spent 10 years in prison. Charges against him included illegal trade of small arms and bombing of SBU (former KGB) office in the Ukraine. All the arrested were subject to extreme tortures. Sergey Berdyugin, 20, died from torture on the 1st of November, 2003. Ilya declined all charges and claimed he was tortured both mentally and physically during pre-trial detention. He went on hunger strikes and cut his veins and neck with a razor blade in the courtroom to protest against inhumane treatment. He was released in December of 2012.

Prison address for letters:
Ilya Eduardovich Romanov, 1967 g.r., FKU SIZO-1, ul. Gagarina, d.26-a, 603098, Nizhnii Novrogod, Russia
(letters should be in Russian only and should not contain statements about political activities of anarchists)

More information: avtonom.org