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Alexandr Nikitin is free!

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#465
24/01/1997
Article

(January 24, 1997) Alexandr Nikitin was released from KGB isolation in St. Petersburg on December 14, 5:35 p.m. local time. The release was ordered by the State Attorney in Moscow. The charges against Bellona co-worker Alexandr Nikitin are based on secret decrees to which he is not allowed access. He has been adopted as a prisoner of conscience (PoC) by Amnesty International, as the second person in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. Amnesty has made a comprehensive report on the case.

(465.4620) WISE Amsterdam -Nikitin had been in custody since February 6, 1996, accused of high treason through espionage. He had faced the threat of death penalty because of his work within the Bellona Foundation, on the Bellona Report 2:96 "The Russian Northern Fleet. Sources of Radioactive Contamination".

Bellona has been working within Russia since 1989, building a huge network of contacts among people and organizations concerned with environmental issues. The competence of Bellona regarding the environmental situation in the area has received international recognition.

Notwithstanding his release, Nikitin is still under investigation and remains accused of serious crimes. The General Procurator has sent the case back to FSB (the former KGB) for further investigation.

Alexandr Nikitin is not allowed to travel outside St. Petersburg, with his passport confiscated by the FSB. The Bellona Foundation is still denied visas to St. Petersburg.

The Bellona report, "The Russian Northern Fleet. Sources of Radioactive Contamination", is still banned in Russia. Bellona rejoiced over the release of Alexandr Nikitin, but emphasized that the battle is not over yet. This is only the beginning. Now it is very important to put an enormous pressure on the Russian authorities. FSB will not give up. We do not know what will happen next, the only thing we know is that Russian and international pressure is very important. We need your help if we are to win this fight!

Source & Contact: Bellona Foundation, PO Box 8874, Youngstorgot 0028 Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47-22-382401
Fax: +47-22-383862