Tomorrow, June 9, 2009, is a international day of solidarity actions in defense of Artem Loskutov, the young Novosibirsk artist arrested on May 15 by officers of the Center for Extremism Prevention. Read our appeal, below, to find out what you can do to join our campaign.
Free Artem Loskutov!
An Appeal from Chto Delat Platform
On May 15, 2009, the contemporary artist and university student Artem Loskutov (pronounced ahr-TYOHM LOHS-koo-tuhf) was arrested in Novisibirsk and charged with possession of a narcotic substance (marijuana) by the local branch of the Interior Ministry’s notorious Center for Extremism Prevention (Center “E”). Loskutov and his supporters claim that the police planted the marijuana in his bag in order to incriminate him. As one of the inspirations behind the annual “Monstration”—a flash-mob street party in which young people march with absurdist, Situationist slogans—Loskutov had long been an object of the Center’s attentions. At a pre-trial custody hearing on May 20, it was revealed that the Center had been tapping the phones of Loskutov and his friends for the past six months. In the weeks before this year’s Monstration and on May Day itself, Loskutov was summoned to the Center for “discussions”; his parents were also called and told that their son was a member of a dangerous sect. The circumstances of the case and the manner in which he was arrested thus point to a campaign of intimidation directed both at Loskutov and his fellow free-thinking “monstrators” in Novosibirsk. Continue reading