Statement on unjust court proceedings against Yury Samodurov and Andrey Erofeev

On December 13th 2009, during its annual session held in Gothenburg, the European Cultural Parliament adopted the following resolution:

We, the members of the European Cultural Parliament, take note of the court
proceedings against Yury Samodurov, the former Director of the Sakharov Museum
in Moscow, and Andrey Erofeev, a former curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery,
who are facing serious and unfounded charges of inciting religious and ethnic
hatred by the organization of a “Forbidden Art” exhibit in 2007.

We express our grave concern about these proceedings and are of the opinion
that, in prosecuting this case, the Russian authorities are violating their
commitments and their obligations in domestic and international law to respect
the right to freedom of expression.

We regard freedom of expression a basic and essential right to all human
societies and consider the proceedings a misuse of anti-extremism legislation
used to silence human rights defenders.

We consider this matter urgent and call on the prosecutor’s office to drop
the charges against Samodurov and Erofeev and close the case on the grounds that
no crime has been committed.

The members of the European Cultural Parliament
December 13,

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