Nevzlin urges candidates to pressure Russia over 'political prisoners'

Wanted businessman asks McCain, Obama to "use unique experience of institution of US Presidency to make human rights and freedoms centermost."

By HAVIV RETTIG GUR
October 27, 2008 19:45
Nevzlin 88 298

Nevzlin 88 298. (photo credit: AP)

 
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On the fifth anniversary of the arrest of former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of fraud and tax evasion, Israeli-Russian businessman and former business partner of Khodorkovsky, Leonid Nevzlin, urged US presidential candidates to place the release of "political prisoners" on the agenda of US-Russian relations. In a letter released Saturday, Nevzlin, who is wanted by Russian authorities for charges from time he spent at the top of the Yukos energy company, asked candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to "use the unique experience of the institution of the US Presidency to make human rights and freedoms centermost in your dialogue with the Kremlin; to make it a prerequisite for further developing bilateral relations." Specifically, he urged the candidates to secure the releases of former Yukos executives "and other political prisoners." "Khodorkovsky's actual 'guilt' was daring to live and work like a free man, in the hopes that his countrymen would follow his example…. Today, Russian political prisoners' only hope, like in the days past, is decisive, moral action by the West," Nevzlin wrote.

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