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    «I cannot even hug my son for 13 years» | 18 Oct 2016

    Novaya GazetaThe open letter of Alla Nikolaevna Pichugina to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, published in «Novaya Gazeta»

    Alla Pichugina with a letter to Vladimir Putin and a photo on which she is with her son. Photo — Victoria Odissonova, Novaya Gazeta

    Alla Pichugina with a letter to Vladimir Putin and a photo on which she is with her son. Photo: Victoria Odissonova / «Novaya Gazeta»

    Last summer, Alexey Pichugin, the former head of «YUKOS» security service was transferred to Moscow from the «Black Dolphin» colony in Sol-Iletsk. Once more the investigators needed the testimonies in the case against Khodorkovsky, which were immediately revived by the Investigation Committee. And we in the editorial office immediately thought about Alla Nikolayevna. We believed that now she will see her son more often — because he is here, in Moscow, in Lefortovo, in two steps, but not in 1200 kilometers…

    However, no dates were given to his mother during the months, when Pichugin was in Moscow.

    The family visits for lifelong prisoners are allowed only twice a year. They are short visits for 4 hours, through the glass, via the handset, with the presence of strangers… It turned out that mother and son have already used their annual state-owned hours through the glass via handset in Sol-Iletsk. That is why, here, in Moscow, in Lefortovo, there is nothing to look forward.

    We called Alla Nikolaevna with a request for an interview. After thinking for a while she refused. However, she asked to publish her letter to the President Vladimir Putin. That is all she wants to say today. «Novaya Gazeta»

    The letter from Alla Pichugina to the President Vladimir Putin

    Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

    The mother of Alexey Pichugin is writing to you, who was the Head of the security service department of YUKOS, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, my son was not playing and is not playing any political games. This is not his thing. He is not a fighter with the system. He is very private and non-public man, who was not going and is not going to fight anyone and sue, and certainly not engaged in politics. He has no hard feelings to anyone. He is very kind, religious man, who prays for everyone… My son is guilty only by the fact of his working career — he has worked in YUKOS… He has already proved everything by his decency and human dignity. First and utmost, he has proved everything to himself and us, his family. As well as to the thousands of people unfamiliar to us (if only you knew how many people are writing to him!) from different parts of the country, who support him and me by their letters every day. And these people are not biased; they are the most common, ordinary citizens…

    Praying, being with the family, children and grandchildren — this is what unbearably wants my son. He wants to live and work here in our country. Nothing else. He could not, and cannot, for the sake of anyone, to give false evidences against the people and defame them. This is contrary to his Christian worldview. Vladimir Vladimirovich, my son’s story — is the story of a human tragedy, where the one, who was simply erased from among the living ones, was able to maintain himself as a person under severe pressure.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, I am 77 years old. My son is 54. He is not quite healthy. I have less and less powers. And all these 13 years, I cannot even put my hand on my son’s shoulder, not to mention hugging. His children cannot do this too. That is because we are not allowed visiting him, but only talking through the glass 2 times a year. His two grandchildren have seen him only on the old photos, taken before his arrest. These are the conditions to which my son was sentenced quickly, with the absence of evidence, juggling with facts and evidences, with an incredible pressure on the jury in the first case. I do not want to touch a string in your heart in any way. I was just put across to the last point of despair. Even my son’s clemency application, addressed in accordance with the Constitution, was not received by you… That was officially confirmed even by your dearest spokesman. The governor of the Orenburg region has refused Alexey in clemency instead of you, obviously without reading the paper, with one stroke of the pen. I was confused that clemency applications from prisoners are not reaching you as to the guarantor of the Constitution, which provides that the issue of clemency should be solved only by the president.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, may be I am naive, but all these years I was hoping and continue to hope for some reason on your compassion and the ability to objectively, rejecting political component, understand everything and show compassion. I beg you to understand me as a mother.

    His release is not capable to infringe anyone. It is high time for him to return home, to be reunited with his family. Please, grant a pardon to my son!

    With great respect and hope

    Alla Nikolaevna Pichugina

    «Novaya Gazeta»

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  • The European Court of Human Rights. CASE OF PICHUGIN v. RUSSIA. Judgment
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  • Trial of vengeance

  • Journalist Valeriy Shiryaev on the first case of Aleksey Pichugin in his book «Trial of vengeance. The first victim of the YUKOS case»