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December 29, 2020

Azat Miftakhov

Posted by John Baez

Azat Miftakhov is a finishing graduate student in Mathematics at Moscow State University, and is a political activist. In February 2019 he was arrested and charged with terrorist activity and the production of explosives. These charges were quickly dropped, but he is nevertheless still in pre-trial detention, now under the charge of having participated in a group act of vandalism resulting in a broken window on a building belonging to the United Russia party.

Many disturbing signs of violation of his due legal process have been reported by the press and by human rights activists. These include torture, harassment of his relatives by local police, and a smear campaign involving homophobic slurs in the media. He has also been denied access to his scientific work. It is difficult to see how the charge of minor vandalism could warrant a year of pre-trial detention and this mistreatment. “Memorial”, the oldest Russian human rights organization, lists Azat Miftakhov as a political prisoner.

Please join many prominent mathematicians and sign a petition protesting Azat Miftakhov’s treatment here! The text above is not my own, but copied from the American Mathematical Society, who is also protesting this outrage. For more information go here.

Posted at December 29, 2020 1:32 AM UTC

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Manifesto of “People’s Self-Defense”

Posted by: Mitchell Porter on December 29, 2020 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Azat Miftakhov

There’s further information in this open letter signed by 300 or so mathematicians and other academics.

Posted by: Tom Leinster on December 29, 2020 8:22 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Azat Miftakhov

Thanks. The second signer there, Victor Vassiliev , has also been arrested for protesting in Russia. Bravery. Now I’ll read the other names!

Posted by: Stefan Forcey on December 30, 2020 6:02 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Azat Miftakhov

Oh, it’s that Vassiliev, he of the knot invariants. I hadn’t realized.

There are many many other famous signatories to that older open letter I mentioned and to the live petition that John encouraged us to sign: Noam Chomsky, Terry Tao, Claire Voisin, Edward Witten, Peter Scholze, …..

Posted by: Tom Leinster on December 30, 2020 4:46 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Azat Miftakhov

Next Wednesday is Azat Miftakhov Day, a half-day conference. From an email sent to signatories of petition:

It will be organized online by the Azat Miftakhov committee in solidarity with Azat Miftakhov, a graduate student from Moscow State University who was sentenced to six years in a medium-security penal colony and has already been detained for almost two years and a half.

Speakers are Cédric Villani, Maryna Viazovska, Alexander Bufetov, and finally Peter Scholze on condensed mathematics.

Posted by: Tom Leinster on June 9, 2021 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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