Rally in support of Russia’s Khodorkovsky held near White House

About 10 people gathered near the White House in Washington D.C. on Tuesday for a rally in support of jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The event, called “We Demand Freedom of Khodorkovsky!” was organized by the International Committee for Democratic Russia.

“Eight years have passed since Khodorkovsky was arrested,” said Natalia Pelevina, the organizer of the rally and the chairperson of the committee.

She said the event was not only in support of Khodorkovsky, but for the sake of the judicial system in Russia on the whole.

“In our opinion, this [Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment] is a reflection of the corrupt judicial system in Russia… The system does not work. There is much talk about it, but nothing is done,” Pelevina said.

In late 2010 Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company, and his business partner Platon Lebedev were sentenced to 14 years each for embezzling oil revenue and money laundering. The seven years they have already served, mostly in Chita in eastern Siberia, count against that sentence.

On May 24, Moscow City Court reduced their sentences to 13 years, meaning they will be freed in 2016.


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