“Memorial”: teacher Nikita Tushkanov is a political prisoner
The human rights organization “Memorial” recognized Nikita Tushkanov, a history teacher from the Republic of Koma, as a political prisoner. Tushkanov is in a pre-trial detention center on charges of justifying terrorism and abusing freedom of mass information. The anti-war posts of the teacher on the Internet became the reason for the initiation of the case. “Memorial” demands an end to the political persecution of Tushkanov.
In the statement of “Memorial” it is indicated that the criminal case against Tushkanov is due to his political views and is intended to prevent the continuation of his activist activities, as well as his teaching work. During the criminal process, his rights to a fair trial are violated. “The case against Tushkanov is another demand by the Russian authorities to suppress the voices of opponents of the war with Ukraine,” – says “Memorial”.
The Syktyvkar City Court arrested Nikita Tushkanov on December 8, 2022. Ego is accused of justifying terrorism for posting on social networks about the explosion of the bridge across the Kerch Strait. According to the investigation, the posts “gave a positive assessment” of what happened. For this, the teacher may face up to 7 years in prison. Rosfinmonitoring included Tushkanov in the list of extremist terrorists. In December, a second criminal case was opened against the arrested teacher – about repeated discrediting of the army.
Previously, Tushkanov was also fined under the article on discrediting, but in July 2022, the court canceled his fine of 30 thousand rubles due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
- Nikita Tushkanov actively spoke on his social networks about the political situation in the country and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In March 2021, he was dismissed from school in Mykyun (Komy) for “immoral behavior” – in January he went on a single picket in support of freedom of speech and in support of Alexei Navalny. He appealed the dismissal in court, but was unable to return to work. Tushkanov tried to get a job in schools in other districts of Koma and in neighboring regions – he was refused.
- In January, Tushkanov’s fiancee, Alexandra, reported that the investigator refused to sign her and the groom’s marriage license, as she is a witness in the case. In addition, she said that Tushkanov was refused dates not only with her, but also with her mother and sister – the latter are not recognized as witnesses in the case.