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Navalny’s Generation: Youth and Rebellion in Siberia under Putin

The French weekly Le magazine du Monde (Le Monde magazine) devoted a new issue to the history of teenagers from Siberian Kansk, detained in 2020. Benoit Vitkin’s big reportage came out under the headline “Navalny’s Generation: Youth and Rebellion in Siberia under Putin.”

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LMS Statement on Azat Miftakhov Conviction

The London Mathematical Society has issued a statement on 8 February, 2021, expressing deep concern about the situation of Azat Miftakhov, an early-career mathematician from Moscow, Russia.

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AMS and ICM 2022

The challenge of fundamental human rights at the next International Congress of Mathematicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2022: a letter by Prof. Ilya Kapovich in the May 2021 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

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Azat Miftakhov’s 28th Birthday

The following message was sent on March 16 by Prof. Ilya Kapovich on behalf of the Azat Miftakhov Committee via the fsin-pismo service.

Dear Azat,

On behalf of an international group of mathematicians in your support “The case of Azat Miftakhov”, I congratulate you on your upcoming birthday! I apologize in advance if this card does not reach you on March 21st. We convey our best wishes, and hope that you will soon be able to personally take part in mathematical seminars and conferences. The thoughts of the international mathematical community are definitely with you!

Respectfully,

Ilya Kapovich, Professor of Mathematics, Hunter College, New York

———————————-

Здравствуйте, Азат!

От имени международной группы математиков по Вашей поддержке “Дело Азата Мифтахова”, поздравляю Вас с наступающим днем рождения!
Заранее извиняюсь, если эта открытка до Вас дойдёт не 21-ого марта. Мы желаем Вам всего наилучшего и надеемся, что вскоре Вы сможете лично принять участие в математических семинарах и конференциях. Мысли международного математического сообщества безусловно с Вами!

С уважением,

Илья Капович,
профессор математики, Хантер Колледж, Нью-Йорк 

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“Committed mathematicians, crossed views”: Debate by Tuna Altınel and Michel Broué

Tuna Altınel is a mathematician. He has been persecuted for 2 years by the Turkish state which accuses him of state crimes.

Michel Broué is a mathematician. Since the 1970s, he has participated in the defense of colleagues who are victims of political repression.

The exchange will cover topics such as: techniques used by the states to criminalize political opponents (as in Turkey, Russia, Egypt), the state grip on the Turkish University (Boğaziçi events), the possible responses from the scientific community (The Mathematicians Committee, the Audin association)

This exchange is organized by the Tuna Altınel Support Committee.

The discussion between Tuna Altınel (from İstanbul) and Michel Broué (from Paris) will be moderated by Gilles Lemée (from Lyon). It will be possible to follow the live stream via this videoconference link.

In the next few days, a recording will be available on the youtube channel of the support committee.

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A better world for mathematicians-Un monde meilleur pour les mathématiciens-عالم أفضل لعلماء الرياضيات-Более безопасный мир для математиков


A better world for mathematicians

A contribution to the International Day of Mathematics (IDM 2021) on Sunday, March 14, 2021, whose theme is Mathematics for a Better World.

Like all human endeavors, mathematics thrives best in a free, open and tolerant environment that fosters the free exchange of scientific information and free scientific collaborations across borders and cultures. Unfortunately, many colleagues are not entitled to such conditions, among them some are deprived in one way or another of their fundamental rights and freedoms.

The case of Azat Miftakhov exemplifies Russia’s human rights problems. Miftakhov, a mathematics PhD student at the Moscow State University, was arrested in February 2019 in Moscow on a putative vandalism charge related to a political protest action. Miftakhov, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was held in pretrial confinement for almost two years and subjected to significant mistreatment and possible torture by the authorities. Despite the support of numerous mathematical and scientific organizations, on January 18, 2021 a court in Moscow found Miftakhov guilty of hooliganism and handed him a grossly excessive sentence of six years in prison.

Tuna Altınel, a professor of mathematics in Lyon, participated in 2019 in a public meeting in Lyon on the subject of alleged massacres in southeastern Turkey. The local Turkish consul reported on this meeting to the Turkish authorities in Ankara, mentioning that Dr. Altınel had served as a poll watcher. A charge of membership in an armed terrorist group resulted, and on an April visit to Turkey, his homeland,  Dr. Altınel’s passport was confiscated. He was subsequently arrested and placed in pre-trial detention for 81 days. Charges were later reduced to propaganda for a terrorist group. Dr. Altınel was acquitted of the latter charge in January 2020 but his passport has not been restored; he remains unable to leave Turkey.

The Egyptian mathematician and activist Laila Soueif gets no respite.  She and her family know all too well Egypt’s political repression. Her son Alaa, who had been the icon of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, has been jailed several times, and is held since 2019 in Tora prison, deprived of visits and communication. Laila Soueif began a sit-in in front of the prison demanding that she be allowed to receive a letter from Alaa. She was physically attacked there, along with her daughters who joined her.  When they went to the authorities to report the attack, one of them, Sanaa, was taken away by out-of-uniform police, and held in prison.


Un monde meilleur pour les mathématiciens

Une contribution  à la Journée internationale des mathématiques (IDM 2021), dimanche 14 mars 2021, dont le thème est Mathématiques pour un monde meilleur.

Comme toutes les entreprises humaines, les mathématiques s’épanouissent mieux dans un environnement libre, ouvert et tolérant qui favorise le libre échange d’information scientifique et des collaborations libres par-delà les frontières et les cultures. Malheureusement, de nombreux collègues n’ont pas droit à de telles conditions, et  certains d’entre eux sont privés d’une manière ou d’une autre de leurs libertés et de leurs droits fondamentaux.

Le cas d’Azat Miftakhov illustre les problèmes des droits humains en Russie. Miftakhov, un doctorant en mathématiques à l’université d’état de Moscou, a été arrêté en février 2019 à Moscou sur de prétendues charges de vandalisme, liées à un acte de protestation politique.  Miftakhov, qui a plaidé non coupable pour ces charges, a été maintenu en détention provisoire pendant près de deux ans et soumis par les autorités à des mauvais traitements marqués et peut-être à de la torture. Malgré le soutien de nombreuses organisations mathématiques et scientifiques, un tribunal de Moscou a jugé le 18 janvier 2021 que Miftakhov était coupable d’hooliganisme et lui a octroyé une peine manifestement excessive de six ans de prison.

Tuna Altınel, professeur de mathématiques à Lyon, a participé en 2019 à une réunion publique à Lyon au sujet de massacres présumés au sud-est de la Turquie. Le consul local de Turquie a rendu compte de cette réunion aux autorités turques d’Ankara, mentionnant que le Dr. Altınel avait servi d’observateur. Une accusation d’appartenance à un groupe terroriste armé s’en est suivie et lors d’une visite en avril en Turquie, son pays natal, le passeport d’Altınel lui a été confisqué. Il a ensuite été arrêté et placé en détention provisoire pendant 81 jours. Les charges ont été ultérieurement réduites à celle de propagande pour un groupe terroriste. Dr. Altınel a été acquitté de cette dernière accusation en janvier 2020, mais son passeport n’a pas été restitué ; il demeure dans l’incapacité de quitter la Turquie.

La mathématicienne et militante égyptienne des droits humains Laila Soueif n’a aucun répit. Elle et sa famille ne connaissent que trop bien la répression politique en Egypte. Son fils Alaa, qui avait été une icône de la Révolution égyptienne en 2011, a été emprisonné à plusieurs reprises et il est détenu depuis 2019 à la prison Tora, et privé de visites et de communication. Laila Soueif a entamé un sit-in devant la prison pour demander qu’elle soit autorisée à recevoir une lettre d’Alaa. Elle y a été physiquement attaquée, ainsi que ses filles qui l’avaient rejointe. Lorsqu’elles sont allées rapporter l’agression aux autorités,  l’une d’elles, Sanaa, a été emmenée par des policiers en civil et emprisonnée.


عالم أفضل لعلماء الرياضيات

مشاركة في اليوم العالمي للرياضيات: ”رياضيات لعالم أفضل“ الأحد ١٤ مارس

تزدهر الرياضيات، كما تزدهر كل الجهود الإنسانية، في بيئة حرة، مفتوحة ومتسامحة، تساعد على التبادل الحر للمعلومات العلمية، وعلى قيام المشروعات والأبحاث العلمية المشتركة عبر الحدود والثقافات. ومما يؤسف له أن الكثير من زملائنا لا ينعمون بمثل هذه البيئة، وبينهم من هم محرومون من حرياتهم وحقوقهم الأساسية

قضية عزّت مفتاحوف تبين لنا إشكالية حقوق الإنسان في روسيا؛ فهو طالب دكتوراه في جامعة موسكو ستيت، وقد قامت السلطات في موسكو باحتجازه في فبرلير ٢٠١٩، ووجهوا له تهمة “تخريب المنشآت العامة في سياق عمل احتجاجي”. بقي مفتاحوف في الحبس الاحتياطي ما يقارب عامين، تعرض فيها لسوء المعاملة وربما للتعذيب. مفتاحوف يصر على براءته، وبالرغم من هذا، ومن دعم عدد كبير من الجمعيات الرياضية والعلمية، فقد أدانته محكمة في موسكو في ١٨ يناير ٢٠٢١، وحكمت عليه بحكم مغالى فيه، وهو السجن لمدة ٦ سنوات

طونا ألطنيل، وهو أستاذ الرياضيات في ليون، بفرنسا، شارك في لقاء مفتوح في ليون حول المذابح المدعى حدوثها في جنوب شرق تركيا. وقد قام قنصل تركيا في ليون بإبلاغ السلطات التركية في أنقرة عن هذا اللقاء، وذكر أن البروفسور ألطنيل كان ممن عُهِدَت إليهم مراقبة الانتخابات، فوجهت له السلطات التركية اتهاماً بـ”الانضمام إلى جماعة إرهابية مسلحة”. وحين قام البروفسور ألطنيل بزيارة تركيا في أبريل تم سحب جواز سفره ومصادرته. وقد تم إيقافه بعدها، وحبسه، وظل سجيناً تحت التحقيق مدة ٨١ يوما، ثم تم تخفيف الاتهام ليصبح “الترويج لجماعة إرهابية”. وقد تمت تبرئة البروفسور ألطنيل من التهم الموجهة إليه، لكنه لم يستعد جواز سفره، فيظل إلى اليوم ممنوعاً من مغادرة تركيا 

أما الدكتورة ليلى سويف، الناشطة وأستاذة الرياضيات، فهي تعاني، هي وأسرتها، وبشكل يومي، من قمع السلطات المصرية. فقد قضى ابنها، الناشط والمبرمج علاء عبد الفتاح، وهو من الرموز البارزة لثورة ٢٠١١، أكثر من ٧ سنوات في حبسات مختلفة، وهو اليوم محبوس رهن التحقيق في سجن طرة شديد الحراسة ٢، ومحروم فيه من أى مواد للقراءة أو الكتابة وأيضاً من التريض. وفي بداية جائحة الكورونا كان ممنوع من التواصل مع أهله بدأت ليلى سويف اعتصاماً أمام بوابات السجن، مطالبة بخطاب منه للاطمئنان. وأمام السجن تم الاعتداء عليها بالضرب، هي وبناتها، منى (باحثة في الجينات) وسناء (مونتير أفلام)، وعند توجه الأسرة، مع هيئة دفاعهم، إلى مكتب النائب العام لتقديم بلاغ بهذا الاعتداء، احتجزت السلطات الإبنة الصغرى، سناء، وهي منذ ذلك اليوم حبيسة سجن القناطر، تحت التحقيق


Более безопасный мир для математиков

Призыв к празднованию Международного дня математики 14 марта 2021 г., посвященному теме “Математика улучшaет мир“.

Как и все сферы человеческой деятельности, математика наиболее эффективно развивается в свободной, открытой и терпимой среде, поощряющей  свободный обмен научной информацией и свободнoе научнoе сотрудничествo между представителями разных государств и культур. К сожалению, многие наши коллеги работают в совсем других условиях, a некоторые из них лишены своих основных человеческих прав.

Дело Азата Мифтахова — яркий пример нарушения прав человека в России. Мифтахов, аспирант Московского Государственного Университета, был арестован в февраля 2019 года в Москве в связи с обвинением в вандализме во время политической акции протеста. Мифтахов, не признавший своей вины, находится в заключении уже в течение двух лет. Он подвергался жестокому обращению и, возможно, пыткам. Несмотря на широкую  поддержку математического сообщества и многих научных организаций, 18 января 2021 года суд в Москве признал Азата Мифтахова виновным в хулиганстве и вынес ему демонстративно непропорциональный приговор к 6 годам тюремного заключения.


Туна Алтинел, профессор математики в Университете  Лионa, принял в 2019 г. участие в собрании, организованном в связи с предполагаемыми массовыми убийствами на Юго-Востоке Турции. Турецкий консул в Лионe  доложил о собрании властям в Анкаре, упомянув, что профессор Алтинел выполнял функцию наблюдателя за голосованием. В результате профессорa Алтинелa обвинили в участии в вооруженной террористической группировке. Когда профессор Алтинел вернулся в Турцию в апреле 2019 г., у него сперва конфисковали паспорт, а затем и сам профессор Алтинел был арестован. Профессор Алтинел содержался под стражей в течение 81 дня во время досудебнoго разбирательствa. Обвиненный в пропаганде терроризма, профессор Алтинел был оправдан в январе 2020 года, однако его паспорт так до сих пор и не восстановлен, в связи с чем Туна Алтинел не может покинуть Турцию.

Египeтский математик и активистка Лейла Суиф постоянно находится под давлением. Ей и ее семье очень хорошо знакомы политические репрессии в Египте. Ее сын Алаа, который стал иконой египетской революции 2011 года, был арестован несколько раз и с 2019 года содержится в тюрьме в Торе, где ему запрещено встречаться и контактировать с кем бы то ни было. Лейла Суиф начала сидячую забастовкy напротив этой тюрьмы, требуя получить возможность переписываться с Алаа. Hа нее и ее дочерей было совершено нападение, a после того, как они сообщили о случившемся  властям, одна из дочерей, Санаа, была схвачена сотрудниками полиции в штатском и заключена в тюрьму.

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On human rights and the 2022 ICM in Russia, a response to the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union

On February 26, 2021 the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union issued a statement regarding the recent events in Russia in relation to the upcoming July 2022 International Mathematical Congress in Saint Petersburg.

During the Navalny protests that shook Russia in January-February 2021 the already dire human rights situation in the country deteriorated even further. Thousands of protesters, including hundreds of college students as well as numerous academics, have been arrested and received jail sentences or fines in express court trials. Many have been beaten and mistreated by the police. Often the police arrested random people in the streets who simply happened to be in close proximity to the protests; even severe physical disabilities did not spare such people from prosecution. In many cases people have been prosecuted for social media posts and tweets supporting the protests. Foreign citizens have been arrested too and several foreign diplomats expelled on the charges of participating in the protests. The campaign of repression by the Putin regime against its citizens continues even now, and the higher education community, especially the students, bear much of the brunt of it. They are being intimidated and threatened by the authorities for supporting the protests, and are facing expulsions and firings. The victims of this brutal crackdown include a substantial number of our colleagues in the Russian mathematical community, both students and faculty members. These terrible events come on the heels of the January 18, 2021 verdict in the case of Azat Miftakhov where a court in Moscow handed him a grotesquely unfair sentence of six years in prison on a putative hooliganism charge in a politically motivated trial.

We are shocked and dismayed by the attitude displayed in the February 26 IMU statement. While the statement acknowledges the validity of human rights concerns expressed by the international mathematical community about the situation in Russia, it goes on to say: “The IMU as well as the International Science Council, of which the IMU is a member, oppose all boycotts of scientific events and all attempts to link scientific activities to political and societal issues, since boycotts are viewed to be harmful for all concerned.”

We regard this position, expressed in absolute and unconditional terms, as incompatible with our moral and ethical obligations as members of the global scientific community. The IMU is supposed to be more than a high-tech club. As scientists and mathematicians, we need to stand up for the basic human rights of our colleagues around the world that are crucial for ensuring genuinely free and unencumbered exchange of scientific information and international collaboration. As human beings of conscience, we are required to do more than that. Boycotts of scientific events should be viewed as measures of last resort. But dismissing such measures out of hand is itself unacceptable. Would the IMO and the ISC have opposed the boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa on the pretext that “boycotts are viewed to be harmful for all concerned”? Would the IMU have denounced the #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM and #Strike4BlackLives movements that took place on June 10, 2020 in solidarity with our black colleagues, in the US and around the world, in the struggle against the plague of systemic racism, on the pretext that the IMU refuses “any attempt to link scientific activities to political and societal issues”?

The IMU statement saves its worst for last. The statement goes on to say: “Specifically, the IMU rejects this call for a boycott of the ICM in Saint Petersburg in 2022 and any intimidation of the ICM organizers or prospective participants.”

This labeling by the IMU of calls for the boycott of the ICM 2022 as “intimidation” is beyond outrageous. Our mathematical colleagues in Russia who support the opposition protests face real intimidation, and worse. We are not calling for the boycott of the ICM in Saint Petersburg at this time. But the efforts of those human rights activists in the international mathematical community who are already making such a call deserve a full measure of appreciation and respect. These efforts cannot and should not be equated and lumped together with the actual intimidation tactics used by the Russian authorities. The attempt to do so by the IMU is reprehensible and morally repugnant, and we reject it completely. We call on the Executive Committee of the IMU to retract its February 26, 2021 statement and to apologize for it.

The IMU’s declared policy of political neutrality should have served as a shield to protect the mathematical community against the use of their activities as a propaganda vehicle by unscrupulous regimes and against the embarrassment of seeing them associated in the organization of those activities with political agents who have a long history of political oppression or whose probity cannot be taken for granted. On this point, the ICM 2022 unfortunately does not set a good example. Future ICM participants will find the message posted by the (former) Executive Organizing Committee (EOC) Co-chair with regard to public health considerations for the St. Petersburg Congress less than reassuring when they realize that its author, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, has for some time been the object of corruption allegations.  Just a few months before that message, at the beginning of the COVID crisis, she was called “the principal gravedigger of Russian medicine.” Tatiana Golikova’s place as Co-chair of the EOC has since been taken by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry N. Chernyshenko, who is perhaps best known outside his home country for his removal by the International Olympic Committee from the Coordination Commission Beijing 2022 for his role in the Russian doping scandal.  But her letter is still visible on the July 2020 ICM Newsletter, as is the letter from the current Governor of St. Petersburg and EOC committee member Alexander D. Beglov, whose “very curious worldview” was noted over two years ago in the newspaper Novye Izvestia.  Although he emphasizes his eagerness to welcome visitors in the ICM Newsletter, a presentation to the students of the Polytechnical University two years earlier compared his compatriots to “the 300 Spartans,” whose families are subject to “powerful psychological influence” and therefore need to defend the “younger generation from mind control from the outside”.

The 2022 ICM EOC features several other members of Putin’s government, including a high-ranking FSB official, Dmitry Derevyashkin. To suggest that mathematicians’ calls for respect for the fundamental rights of their Russian colleagues are intimidating an FSB official is worse than outrageous.

The IMU also needs to address the safety and security concerns for the ICM participants raised by the recent events. The authorities in Russia have shown supreme willingness to arrest and prosecute anyone, including foreign citizens, for even minor expressions of political dissent, such as social media posts and tweets in support of the protesters and the opposition as well as single-person pickets. There is no reason to believe that the ICM participants will receive different treatment in Russia, if they decide to express solidarity with the protesters while attending the ICM or even to attend some protests themselves. The IMU owes the prospective ICM participants an honest explanation about what might await them in Russia in this regard, and whether the ICM organizers would provide any legal aid if some ICM participants are arrested and prosecuted. The IMU as the main sponsor of this event will assume legal and moral responsibilities in the event of the arrest of a participant. These responsibilities are compounded by the February 26, 2021 statement of the Executive Committee of the IMU downplaying human rights issues in Russia and putting them on the back burner.

Ahmed Abbes, mathematician, Director of research at CNRS, Paris

Michel Broué, Professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Paris

Chandler Davis, Professor emeritus of mathematics, University of Toronto.

Fabien Durand, Président de la Société Mathématique de France, Professor of mathematics, Université de Picardie Jules Verne

Ivar Ekeland, FRSC, Professor emeritus of mathematics and former President, University of Paris-Dauphine

Michael Harris, Professor of mathematics, Columbia University

Ilya Kapovich, Professor of mathematics, Hunter College of CUNY, Chair, Committee on the Human Rights of Mathematicians, American Mathematical Society

Raphaël Rouquier, Professor of mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles

Masha Vlasenko, Professor at the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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AMS and ICM 2022

The challenge of fundamental human rights at the next International Congress of Mathematicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2022: a letter by Prof. Ilya Kapovich that will appear in the May 2021 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society

The next International Congress of Mathematicians is scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia in July 2022. The upcoming ICM represents unique challenges for the American Mathematical Society in terms of its commitments to upholding fundamental human rights, promoting free, open, tolerant and democratic society as well as ensuring free exchange of scientific information and free scientific collaborations across borders and cultures. For the last twenty years Russia labored under the increasingly oppressive and authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin. Internal opposition has been suppressed and effectively purged from political representation. The government controls most of mass media and, increasingly, the internet as well. Opposition leaders, such as Alexei Navalny, have been subjected to persecution, murder and assassination attempts by government agents, both at home and abroad. The state exercises increasingly repressive and discriminatory anti-LGBT policies, including the infamous 2013 “gay propaganda” law.

The case of Azat Miftakhov exemplifies Russia’s human rights problems. Miftakhov, a mathematics PhD student at the Moscow State University, was arrested in February 2019 in Moscow on a putative vandalism charge related to a political protest action. The only physical damage during that protest was a broken window. Miftakhov, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was held in pretrial confinement for almost two years and subjected to significant mistreatment and possible torture by the authorities. Numerous mathematical and scientific organizations, including the AMS, and other groups of academics, both internationally and within Russia, spoke in support of Miftakhov. Nevertheless, on January 18, 2021 a court in Moscow found Miftakhov guilty of hooliganism and handed him a grossly excessive sentence of six years in prison.

During the ongoing Navalny protests in Moscow and other cities across Russia, numerous scientists, including mathematicians, have been arrested, fined and given jail sentences. The case of Alexander Kuznetsov, an eminent Russian algebraic geometer, an ICM speaker and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who was arrested at a protest in Moscow on January 31, 2021, gained particular attention of mathematicians around the world.

All these issues raise the question of how the AMS and the U.S. mathematical community should respond to the upcoming ICM 2022. There have already been public calls for a boycott of the ICM. Personally, I hope that a boycott will not become necessary. However, an open discussion of the matter in the AMS is certainly needed. In my view, the situation cannot be treated as a logistical issue but rather should be approached primarily as a question of values and principles.

In a January 2021 letter to the International Science Council, the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union wrote: “The IMU rejects all boycotts of scientific events (as does the ISC) and all attempts to link scientific activities to political and societal issues.” I believe the AMS cannot adopt such an absolutist approach. The details matter and the circumstances matter.

We need to find a way to balance the desire for free and unencumbered exchange of scientific information with our commitments to human rights and free and democratic society. Ultimately, the former requires the latter, as truly free exchange of scientific knowledge is impossible under an authoritarian rule. We also need to guard against the possibility that the Russian government intends to use the ICM as a major propaganda vehicle. Several signs already point in that direction. Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, co-chairs the Executive Organizing Committee of the ICM. The EOC features several other members of Putin’s government, including a high-ranking FSB official, Dmitry Derevyashkin. This level of involvement by prominent government figures in the ICM organization is unprecedented in the ICM history.

At a minimum, I believe that the AMS will need to publicly acknowledge valid concerns raised by the mathematical community about the situation in Russia in relation to ICM 2022. The AMS will also need to provide some guidance for those American mathematicians who decide to attend the ICM regarding how they could support human rights and pro-democracy causes, especially as related to academia, while in Russia, if they so choose. If the Russian government continues to jail its bright young mathematical minds like Azat Miftakhov and its preeminent mathematical figures like Alexander Kuznetsov, it will become harder and harder for the AMS and the international mathematical community to accept holding ICM 2022 in Russia.

I am unsure how exactly a public AMS discussion about ICM 2022 should be organized. But I am certain that this conversation is worth having.

Ilya Kapovich,
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics of the Hunter College of CUNY, Former chair of the AMS Committee on the Human Rights of Mathematicians (02/01/2020-01/31/2021)

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Azat Miftakhov is named an honorary student of Paris-Saclay University

The Hadamard Doctoral School of Mathematics at Paris-Saclay University issued the following statement on March 4, 2021 naming Azat Miftakhov an honorary student and welcoming him to complete his doctorate under good conditions once he is released.

The Hadamard Doctoral School of Mathematics (École doctorale mathématique Hadamard – EDMH) protests against the imprisonment of Azat Miftakhov since February 2019, and his recent sentence to 6 years in prison.

Azat Miftakhov, a doctoral student in mathematics at Moscow State University, was arrested in February 2019 and held in detention on questionable charges. He was sentenced on January 18, 2021 to 6 years in a penal colony. Memorial Human Rights Centre considers that Azat Miftakhov is condemned because of his political opinions.

The EDMH joins the international committee of mathematicians formed in his favor and with several national mathematical societies (AMS, SMF, Unione matematica italiana, Sociedade Brasileira de Matemática), to demand his immediate release, and the dropping of the charges against him. In this context, the direction of the EDMH names Azat Miftakhov an honorary student of the doctoral school. Once he is released, it is ready to welcome him so that he can complete his doctorate under good conditions.

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A St Petersburg State University student expelled from the university in apparent retaliation after a protest action in support of Azat Miftakhov

Elena Skvortsova, a journalism student at the Saint Petersburg State University, and an opposition and a human rights activist, has been expelled from the university in an apparent retaliation for her political activities. Officially Elena was expelled for failing to complete her required practical training. However, Novaya Gazeta reports that the university administration has made it impossible for Skvortsova to complete her practical training and erected a series of artificial obstacles, eventually leaving her just a single day to complete the training. These obstructionists tactics started after Skvortsova was arrested in January 2021 at a protest action in support of Azat Miftakhov. Together with another student, Ekaterina Bushkova, she went to a local St Petersburg office of the “United Russia” party and brought several window frames with photos of Miftakhov attached to them. Both students were arrested at the protest.