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Voina: Leonid Nikolajew auf der Flucht, Philip Kostenko im Hungerstreik

Foto: Vladimir Telegin

Kaum als Co-Kurator der Berlin-Biennale ernannt, schon verhaftet und schon wieder auf der Flucht: “Einer der Co-Kuratoren der 7. Berlin Biennale, Leonid Nikolajew, ist am vergangenen Wochenende bei einer kremlkritischen Demonstration verhaftet worden. Nikolajew gehört dem russischen KĂĽnstlerkollektiv Voina an. Erst in der vergangenen Woche hatte die Biennale bekannt gegeben, die Gruppe um den russischen KĂĽnstler Artur Zmijewski 2012 als „assoziierte Kuratoren“ einsetzen zu wollen. Am Montagmorgen gelang Leonid Nikolajew die Flucht aus der Polizeiwache. Mittlerweile soll ein internationaler Haftbefehl gegen ihn vorliegen. (*). Und ein weiterer Voina-Aktivist, Philip Kostenko, sitzt noch in Haft und ist im Hungerstreik: “On December 6, 2011 Philip Kostenko, Voina Group artist, activist of the Russian human rights organization Memorial began a hunger strike. He was arrested near Gostiny Dvor at the peaceful rally in St. Petersburg against widespread violations in the State Duma elections. He was charged with failure to follow a police officer’s orders (Article 19.3). His case was heard by Judge Alexei Kuznetsov, whom many oppositionists claim is known for accepting false statements from police officers and handing down harsh punishments. Kostenko was sentenced to 15 days in custody. Another illegally arrested activist Victor Demyanenko joined Kostenko on the hunger strike. They demand “releasing all people who were detained at the peaceful rallies on December 4-6”. Kostenko is also wrongfully charged by Articles 214 (“vandalism”), 318 (“using violence against a public official”), 319 (“insulting a public official”).

He is facing other sentences. Philip Kostenko is a an organizer and participant of Voina Group actions, activist of the “Food not Bombs” movement , co-author of the innovative art collages against pre-electoral law breaches of the pro-Putin “United Russia” party. He participated in all Dissenters Marches and Strategy 31 rallies. In 2011 Kostenko was detained 8 times by police without any legal ground – neither arrest warrants nor official papers were presented. For instance because of his participation in Dissenters Marches in St. Petersburg and taking part in Voina actions, on June 17, 2011 he was kidnapped by counter-extremism Center E agents Vasily Trifan and Andrey Aleshin. Kostenko was delivered to the Investigators Committee (analogue of US FBI) department to the officer D.V. Fedichev. Police officers openly write comments containing insults and explicit threats in Kostenko’s blog which were addressed directly to him. Threats, blackmailing, arrests, assaults and batteries, initializing of falsified criminal cases, aiming to intimidate the Voina artist Kostenko, are still going on. Voina Group asks journalists to spread this information and help rescuing Philip Kostenko from jail.” Via: Mail

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