Nikolay Koblyakov protesting in Paris against Putin. Photo Russie-Libertés
Association of Free Speech „Anna Politkovskaya“, winner of the International Prize for Human Rights „Golden Dove“
Through media to the Bulgarian Court
The Council of Europe
The European Parliament
The Association of Free Speech „Anna Politkovskaya“ (AFSAP) urges the Court to not extradite Koblyakov and put him in the hands of the criminal Putin regime and insists he be placed under house arrest.
AFSAP joins the appeal of NGOs „Free Russia“, the „Human Rights League“ and the „International Federation of Human Rights Leagues“ to Bulgarian authorities to not allow the extradition of French citizen Nikolay Koblyakov to Russia.
Until the Bulgarian Court rules on the extradition request, Nikolai Koblyakov will be in detention, whose term will be decided on August 1, 2014. We, the members of the Public Council of the Association of Free Speech „Anna Politkovskaya“ believe that it is not right to keep Nikolai Koblyakov in custody. We call on the Bulgarian court to release him under house arrest and put our names and respect of the public on the line in guaranteeing that he would appear before Bulgarian justice.
Nikolai Koblyakov is an entrepreneur and civil rights activist, organizer of protests against the Kremlin regime and in support of civil and political rights and freedoms in Russia. On July 29, 2014, upon arriving in Sofia from Paris, he was detained by border police and is currently in custody at the National Investigation Services (NIS). A judicial proceeding on the extradition request, sent by Russia, is pending.
We emphasize that at the moment the case „Koblyakov“ poses many questions to which the Prosecutor’s Office and the Interior Ministry must provide clear answers. The fact is that until now Nikolai Koblyakov has been traveling with his French passport undisturbed across Europe and the United States. Why was he arrested precisely in Bulgaria – a country considered the „Trojan Horse“ of Russia in Europe? If there really is an Interpol bulletin for his arrest, why European and American authorities have not acted on it like their Bulgarian counterparts? When was the arrest warrant sent to the Bulgarian authorities and is it not linked to information about Koblyakov’s trip to Bulgaria?
In view of Koblyakov’s biography and the circumstances of his detention, one cannot reject political and not merely legal enforcement motives behind the request for extradition from Russia. The Bulgarian Court should carefully examine all facts that suggest such scenario and must prevent sending a European citizen in the hands of Putin’s repressive regime over his political beliefs and active public position.
Sofia on July 31, 2014
Public Council of the Association of Free Speech „Anna Politkovskaya“