We, members of the European Cultural Parliament, ECP, protest against the arrest of our Member and friend Kirill Serebrennikov. We see this arrest as an effort to silence an internationally renowned film- and stage director.
Serebrennikov stands accused of having embezzled government funds for a production of Shakespeare’s „A Midsummer Night’s Dream“ that allegedly never took place. However, video recordings, reviews, Facebook entries by audience members, tours to Riga and Paris, a nomination for the Russian national theatre award „Golden Mask“ and, last but not least, the programme of the Gogol Center in Moscow seem to prove that this charge is absurd. And yet Serebrennikov stands in danger of being convicted and of receiving a long prison sentence.
We protest against the accusations and against the house arrest he has been placed under until the trial. This is in effect a communication ban, a prejudgment and a prohibition to work for one of the most famous contemporary Russian artists.
In the spirit of democracy and the rule of law we ask the Russian public prosecution office not to take influence from political or religious signals and consequently to drop the accusations against Kirill Serebrennikov.
We urgently appeal to the Russian Government to ensure that the great artist Kirill Serebrennikov doesn’t become the victim of a politically motivated miscarriage of justice.
Karl-Erik Norrman, Secretary General, on behalf of ECP Members