Embargo Date: 2 June 200400:01GMT
Russian Federation: Amnesty International calls for the release of Igor Sutiagin from prison pending retrial
On 5 April 2004, the Moscow City Court found Igor Sutiagin, a 39- year-old nuclear scientist, guilty of high treason in a closed trial. Two days later, the court handed him the longest prison term for high treason since Soviet times - 15 years in a strict regime colony.
Igor Sutiagin's arrest and charges raised serious concerns that the case was brought for political reasons. He is one of more than a dozen independent scientists, journalists, and environmentalists, who have faced politically motivated prosecutions in the past decade for their cooperation with foreigners on issues considered to be sensitive by the Russian government. Violations of international fair trial standards have marred proceedings against Igor Sutiagin throughout the investigation and trial.
Amnesty International considers Igor Sutiagin a political prisoner. The organization calls for a prompt retrial of Igor Sutiagin's case, to be conducted in accordance with international standards for fair trial. Amnesty International calls for the release of Igor Satiating from prison pending retrial.
Today Amnesty International issued a joint statement with Human Rights Watch, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Public Committee for the Protection of Scientists expressing our concerns about the trial and the imprisonment of Igor Sutiagin.