Update on the case of Azat Miftakhov on November 12, 2021

On October 6, 2021, the IMU Executive Committee issued a statement concerning the case of our colleague Azat Miftakhov who has been arbitrarily detained by Russian authorities since February 2019:  “The IMU expresses its wish that Miftakhov be allowed to complete his doctorate in France, enabling him to pursue a career in mathematics, and asks that he be released at the earliest opportunity so that he can take up his studies in France.”

The Azat Miftakhov Committee welcomes this statement and renews its call for the immediate and unconditional release of Azat Miftakhov.

The Russian human rights organization Memorial announced on November 9, 2021 that Azat Miftakhov had been placed by the prison administration on a special list “as prone to suicide, terrorism, drug use and assaults against prison staff.” As a result, Azat is forced to appear in front of a camera every two hours, and at night a prison guard videotapes how he sleeps.

On November 11, 2021, the Russian human rights organization Memorial announced that it received a notification from the Supreme Court that the Prosecutor General’s Office had filed a lawsuit to liquidate Memorial International for systematic violations of the law on “foreign agents.”

Founded in January 1989 with the support of physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, Memorial played a leading role in documenting Stalinist repression and continues to do so to this day, while these crimes are relativized or swept under the carpet.

The law on “foreign agents”, introduced in July 2012 by legislators from the governing United Russia party to oppress civil society organizations, continues to evolve, to the point that it is no longer just a question of funding:  according to the latest directives of the FSB, the Russian secret services, any research activity relating to themes such as space or defense may be sufficient to obtain this label.

As we have already reported in our letter to the IMU Executive Committee on August 23, we find it particularly shocking that Dmitry S. Derevyashkin, first Deputy Head of Department “P” of the Economic Security Service of the FSB, sits on the ICM Executive Organizing Committee.

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

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