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#15 - JRL 2007-178 - JRL Home
Activists Urge Russian Ombudsman To Defend Scientists

MOSCOW. Aug 20 (Interfax) - Prominent Russian human rights activists urged the country's ombudsman on Monday to stand up for two Russian scientists who have been charge with divulging classified information.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) claims that twin brothers Oleg and Igor Minin, who used to work at the Institute of Applied Physics of the Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences and were charged last week, disclose official secrets in their book "Institute of Applied Physics: Schools of Research and Technologies," one of the signatories, Ernst Chyorny, executive secretary of the Public Committee for the Defense of Scientists, told Interfax.

All the information used in the book, of which 50 copies have been published, came from public sources, Chyorny said.

Moreover, the brothers quit the Institute of Applied Physics in 1996 and have had no contact with classified information since then, he said.

"Of all criminal cases known to us, this appears to be patently doomed to failure, but this does not mean that the suspects will be let go all too easily, because the story has been going on for five months already. For this reason, we ask you, Vladimir Petrovich, to take part in the plight of the two scientists from Novosibirsk and bring this matter before the Prosecutor General," the activists said in a letter to human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin.

The signatories included Yury Ryzhov, chairman of the Public Committee for the Defense of Scientists, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, chairwoman of Moscow Helsinki Group, and Alexei Simonov, president of the Glasnost Defense Foundation.