July 6th, 2011

CNN.com: “Free Russian political prisoners”

Gidon Kremer

Gidon Kremer

It’s often said that art and politics shouldn’t mix. But readers may get the opposite impression from an opinion piece written by accomplished violinist Gidon Kremer to coincide with a charity concert on behalf of Russia’s political prisoners.

The concert, held July 5 in Strasbourg, France, was dedicated to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, who, according to the organziers, are “living symbols of the world’s failed hopes for rule of law and freedom of expression in Russia.”

“As artists,” Kremer writes, “it’s our duty to raise our voices in a chorus of opposition to drown out those who seek to humiliate and punish men like Khodorkovsky.”

Among those who supported the concert were Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who recorded a video message in French that played just before the curtain went up, calling on the Russian government to free Khodorkovsky and Lebedev: (Here’s a link to the English translation.)

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel

As long as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev are not free, I can assure you that we will keep on declaring that every day they spend in prison is an insult to universal conscience – an insult, an offense to the dreams of a fair and generous world. 

Giving them their freedom back, the new Russia would win respect from all mankind. 

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.