2007: Russia: Vladimir Chugunov

Oslo, 10. April 2007

Mr Vladimir Vladmirovich Putin
President of the Russian Federation
Kremlin
Moscow
Russia
Fax: +7 095 206 5173 / 230 2408
Email: president@gov.ru

Mr Vladimir Ustinov
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya  103793
Moskva K-31, Ul. B. Dimitrovka, d 15a
Prokuratura Rossiyskoy Federatsii
Generalnomu prokuroru Ustinovu V
Russian Federation
Fax: +7 095 292 88 48

Your Excellency,

I, as Chair of Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, a non-political association of writers, have been informed of the fact that journalist Vladimir Chugunov, is being held in isolation in psychiatric detention.

I am gravely concerned about the fate of Vladimr Chugunov, founder and editor of the independent weekly Chugunka, who has been imprisoned since January 21, according to his family and the independent Moscow daily Novaya Gazeta.

Reports tell of brutal treatment, incarceration in psychiatric hospital, threats of psychiatric “treatment”, isolation, and last but not least – there is international concern that Vladimir Chugunov is being held in violation of his right to freedom of expression, following the publication of articles expressing criticism of current political affairs.

I, as Chair of Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, call for the immediate release from detention of Vladimir Chugunov, and an immediate end to threats and brutal treatment, including unjustified treatment for alleged “psychiatric” illness.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Elisabet W. Middelthon/sign.
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

Carl Morten Iversen
Secretary general

Copies to:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Oslo
Norwegian Embassy, Moscow
Russian Embassy, Oslov