Russian rockers call on fans to petition for release of Levonevsky, Vasilyev 13:15, 15/03/2005
Popular Russians rockers Tequilajazz urged their fans at a recent show in Moscow to sign an appeal for the release of two leaders of market vendors’ strike committee in Grodno, Russia’s branch of Amnesty International reported.
Mr. Levonevsky and Aleksandr Vasilyev, deputy head of the strike committee, were sentenced to two years in prison each on September 7, 2004.
In a dual trial, the judge ruled that a leaflet distributed by the two leaders prior to a May Day demonstration in the city defamed Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to the ruling, the phrase, “Come and say no to someone’s holidaying in Austria, skiing there and being free-living at your expense,” referred to Mr. Lukashenko.
Several dozens of Tequilajazz’ fans put their signatures on the letter that reads, “I share the concerns of Amnesty International over the sentences imposed on Valery Levonevsky and Aleksandr Vasilyev for the distribution of the verses and call for their immediate and unconditional release.”
Amnesty members plan to deliver the letter to the Belarusian embassy in Moscow.
Prominent St. Petersburg-based rockers - Boris Grebenshchikov, Sergei Shnurov (Leningrad) and Aleksandr Vasilyev (Splin) - signed the appeal earlier.
Amnesty International declared Messrs. Levonevsky and Vasilyev prisoners of conscience. lllll