Recently, the Russian court has for the second time refused Svetlana Bakhmina’s appeal for a release on parole. Svetlana has already served four years of her 6.5-year term, to which she was sentenced as a YUKOS lawyer. She was prosecuted under Article 168 (embezzlement) and Article 198 (tax evasion) of the Russian Criminal Code. According to Russian laws, Svetlana Bakhmina is now eligible to be released on parole because she has served more than half of her sentence. She has two little kids: Theodor, age seven, and Gregory, age eleven. Now Svetlana is in prison hospital. She is pregnant, and her baby is due in December.
Normally, in such cases such as this the Russian court releases convicts on parole or delays execution of the court ruling until the children turn eighteen.
In Svetlana Bakhmina’s case, this did not happen. Perhaps, it is all because of the biased attitude to YUKOS employees, or it maybe because of something else… I don’t know.
Under the Constitution of Russian Federation, President Medvedev may pardon Svetlana Bakhmina.
Please do not be indifferent, Ask President to pardon Svetlana Bakhmina.
Dear Mr. President,
Please attend to the case of Svetlana Bakhmina, a Russian citizen sentenced to a 6.5 years’ imprisonment term. As of May 2008, she served half of her term. According to Russian laws, she is now eligible to be released on parole.
Svetlana has two sons, aged seven and eleven. Moreover, now she is expecting her third child, which is due in December. Svetlana Bakhmina is now in the prison hospital. Nonetheless, the court has twice refused to release her on parole.
Mister President, we know that under the Constitution of Russian Federation, you may pardon Svetlana Bakhmina.
We, the undersigned, urge you to please pardon Svetlana Bakhmina.
We believe that by doing so you will demonstrate to the people of the Russian Federation and to the whole world that mercy and respect of human rights are the corner stones of a strong civilized state.