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Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War – Program – July 5-6, 2022

In view of the unprecedented brutality and destructiveness of Russia’s criminal aggression against Ukraine, we have renamed our event, that was originally announced before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, into “Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War”. As we continue to fight for Azat’s release from prison, we stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian mathematicians and the people of Ukraine who suffer the terrible brunt of the war.

The Azat Miftakhov Days Against the War will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday July 5-6, 2022, in solidarity with Azat Miftakhov, a mathematics graduate student from the Moscow State University who has been arbitrarily imprisoned by Russian state authorities since February 2019.

This event is sponsored by the French (SMF and SMAI), European, Belgian and Catalan Mathematical Societies. It is also announced by the American Mathematical Society and the London Mathematical Society.

Registration is mandatory by filling out the form here.

Tuesday July 5, 2022 from 4pm to 7pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) – online

4 pm Opening remarks

4:10 pm Alexander Petrov (Harvard)
Title: Representations of Galois groups and families of algebraic varieties (abstract)

5:10 pm Ilya Dumanski (MIT)
Title: Schubert varieties in the Beilinson-Drinfeld Grassmannian (abstract)

6:10 pm Slava Rychkov (IHES)
Title: “Bootstrap” method in physics and mathematics (abstract)

Wednesday July 6, 2022 from 5pm to 7pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) – hybrid

A panel to assess the human rights situation in Russia through the cases of persecuted academics, coorganized by the Azat Miftakhov Committee and the prominent Russian NGO Memorial Human Rights Center. The panel will make a special emphasis on the Russian academics and students persecuted for opposing Russia’s war in Ukraine.

For technical reasons related to the hybrid nature of the event, this panel is transferred to the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) in Paris. Instructions to access IHES are available here.

We are very pleased to announce the participation in this panel of

Chandler Davis, mathematician, University of Toronto

Alexander Cherkasov, Chair of the Council of the Memorial Human Rights Centre

Fabien Durand, President of the French Mathematical Society

Anatoly Vershik, former president of the St. Petersburg Mathematical Society, member of the European Academy of Sciences, chief researcher of the St. Petersburg section of the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Barry Mazur, mathematician, the Gerhard Gade University Professor at Harvard University, member of Scholars at Risk Harvard

Grigory Durnovo, OVD-info

Maria Menshikova DOXA

Vera Chelishcheva, independent journalist 

Ilya Nuzov, Head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Desk for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the Europe and Central Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, specializes in countries of the former Soviet Union

Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International Moscow Office Director

Martin Andler, mathematician, Université de Versailles St Quentin, for Memorial France

Registration is mandatory by filling out the form here.

Further information will be available on caseazatmiftakhov.org

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

#StandWithUkraine  🇺🇦

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Azat Miftakhov kept for a week in isolation on the pretext of being threatened by other prisoners

Azat’s lawyer reports that on May 1, Azat told the head of his labor detachment at the prison colony that he declined to participate in the prisoners’ parade for the upcoming May 9 Victory Day celebration. While Azat was told that participation in the parade was voluntary, on May 6, a prison officer summoned Azat and told him that the authorities allegedly received a threat of attack on Azat by other prisoners. As a result, Azat was placed in isolation in a medical unit, where he remained until May 12. At that time Azat was asked to sign two statements, one saying that he received no threats from other prisoners and the other saying that nothing threatened his health. Azat refused to sign these statements and was released in the general population of the colony.

According to Azat’s lawyer, he indeed received no threats from other prisoners, and the episode appears to have been concocted by the authorities to isolate him from other inmates in preparation for the May 9 celebration.

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A military appeals court leaves the verdict in the case of Kansk teens unchanged

On May 16 a military appeals court left unchanged the sentences in the case of three Kansk teens. The three boys, who were 14-year old at the time, were originally arrested in June 2020 in Kansk while putting leaflets in support of Azat Miftakhov on the wall of a local FSB office. They were later charged with trumped up “terrorism” offenses. On February 10, 2020 a military court in Kansk sentenced Nikita Uvarov, who, like Azat, denied any guilt from the start, to five years in prison. The other two boys, Bogdan Andreyev and Denis Mikhailenko, who initially admitted some guilt under coercion, received suspended sentences of four and three years. After the May 16 appeals  court ruling, Nikita Uvarov is expected to shortly be transferred to a juvenile penal colony to serve his sentence.

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A cassation court in Moscow reduces Azat Miftakhov’s sentence by three months

On April 21, 2022 a cassation court in Moscow held a hearing on Azat Miftakhov’s appeal. The court reduced Azat’s sentence by three months, from six years in prison to five years and nine months.

Although any reduction of Azat’s sentence is a welcome news, this cassation court decision is grossly insufficient. Azat is an innocent victim of political persecution. We continue to call on the Russian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

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Let’s not forget Azat Miftakhov who languishes in a Russian penal colony

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Upcoming cassation appeal of Azat Miftakhov’s case

On April 21, 2022 a cassation court in Moscow is scheduled to hear an appeal in Azat Miftakhov’s case. Azat is currently serving his six-year prison sentence at a penal labor colony in Omutninsk.

We continue to call for Azat’s immediate release and express our support and solidarity with him.

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

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Message to the IMU Executive Committee concerning the ICM 2022

The Azat Miftakhov Committee sent a message to the International Mathematical Union Executive Committee on February 26, 2022 proposing that the second Azat Miftakhov Days, which include a panel on human rights in Russia co-organized with the prominent Russian NGO Memorial Human Rights Center, be a satellite event of the virtual ICM 2022.

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A statement on the Ukraine crisis

The war in Ukraine deals a new blow to human rights in the region and causes an immense lot of suffering. We express our solidarity with Ukrainians, and those on both sides which will suffer from the loss of freedom and the consequences of the war. In this context we recall the case of Azat Miftakhov, who remains imprisoned in a penal colony on trumped-up political charges. We ask the IMU to reconsider the choice of Saint-Petersburg for the 2022 ICM, and we welcome the February 22 AMS statement making that suggestion. 

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

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Putin is distracting the world from his atrocities

Published by Prof. Ilya Kapovich in the Washington Post on February 21, 2022.

The Feb. 18 editorial “In a moment of peril, clarity” correctly pointed to the link between Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine and the Putin regime’s increasingly oppressive nature at home. However, the examples given of such domestic political oppression are far from the most jarring.

On Feb. 10, a court in Kansk sentenced three middle school boys for putative “terrorism” offenses. The boys, who were 14 at the time, were arrested by the FSB in June 2020 while putting up leaflets on the wall of a local FSB office. The leaflets expressed support for a jailed Moscow State University mathematics graduate student and an opposition political activist Azat Miftakhov. Although minors and civilians, the boys were tried by a military court in a closed proceedings. One of the boys, Nikita Uvarov, received a five-year prison sentence, likely because he refused to cooperate with the authorities from the start. The other two boys, who initially admitted some guilt under coercion, received suspended prison sentences.

Political persecution of children is barbaric and despicable, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is using the distraction of the Ukraine conflict to perpetrate this shameful practice.

Ilya Kapovich, New York

The writer is a member of the Azat Miftakhov Committee of Mathematicians.

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Azat Miftakhov Days – July 5-6, 2022

The program is available here

Registration is mandatory by filling out the form here.

We are pleased to announce that the second Azat Miftakhov Days will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday July 5-6, 2022, in solidarity with Azat Miftakhov, a mathematics graduate student from the Moscow State University who has been arbitrarily detained by Russian state authorities since February 2019. Azat has been mistreated and tortured by the authorities while in detention. His trial, which took place after much delay in the Fall of 2020, was based largely on the testimony of “secret” government witnesses. In a grossly unjust and excessive decision, in January 2021 a court in Moscow sentenced Azat to six years imprisonment in a penal colony for “hooliganism”. Azat is currently serving this sentence in a labor colony in Omutninsk.

  • Tuesday July 5, 2022 from 4pm to 7pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) – online

On the first day, we will honor the new generation of Russian mathematicians committed to human rights. The speakers are Ilya Dumanski (MIT), Alexander Petrov (Harvard) and Slava Rychkov (IHES). Their mathematical lectures will be broadcast live on Zoom and youtube. 

  • Wednesday July 6, 2022 from 5pm to 7pm Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) – hybrid 

On the second day, we will co-organize with Memorial Human Rights Center a panel to assess the human rights situation in Russia through the cases of persecuted academics. The panel will be hybrid, online and in person at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) in Paris, open to academics, human rights organizations and journalists.  Amnesty International (Moscow office), DOXA and OVD-INFO have already agreed to participate.

On 29 December 2021, the Moscow City Court has ordered the closure of the prominent Russian NGO Memorial Human Rights Center for allegedly violating “foreign agent” legislation. Founded in 1991, HRC Memorial is one of the most respected human rights organizations in Russia and in the world. The prosecutors claimed that HRC Memorial repeatedly violated the “foreign agents” law by refusing to label their content as produced by a “foreign agent”.  They also claimed that HRC Memorial justified “terrorism and extremism” by keeping a list of people detained for political reasons on its website. The list featured individuals imprisoned following unfair, politically-motivated trials, including Azat Miftakhov. On 28 December 2021, the Supreme Court ordered the liquidation of its sister organization, International Memorial.

The first Azat Miftakhov Day organized last year, attracted over 1600 participants and raised awareness in the mathematical community of the injustice suffered by our young colleague. We are counting on your participation in this second edition to send a strong message of solidarity to Azat and to press for his immediate and unconditional release.

Registration is mandatory both for participation online or in person. The registration form is available here.

Further information will be available on caseazatmiftakhov.org

The Azat Miftakhov Committee

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