#Human Rights
Tyumen State University

We call on concerned academics around the world to sign this petition to the Administration of Tyumen State University and Russian higher education authorities.

Dear colleagues,

we need your solidarity in a situation that defies academic freedom in Russian university and threatens human and professional rights of our colleague, a professor of linguistics.

Andrey Kutuzov has been teaching linguistics at Tyumen State University (Western Siberia, Russia). Being an academic he is also a social activist and participant in grassroots movements of self-governed, anarchist orientation.

On the September 7th, 2011 Andrey Kutuzov was dismissed by Gennady Chebotarev, the rector of his University. Following the information that we dispose, Andrey was dismissed because of pressure from the local authorities on the university administration. The official reason for his dismissal was declared as “committing an immoral deed” referring to the recent case of repression for his political activities.

In the last few years, the local Centre of counteraction to extremism (in fact political police) was paying close attention to the activities of local social movements. The first attempt to frame Andrey and his comrades with “extremism” in 2009 failed. But several months ago Andrey Kutuzov was found guilty in “spreading extremist leaflets” and convicted to 2 years suspended, even though it was obvious that the case was forged by Federal Security Service (ex-KGB). During the trial substantial proof was provided that the leaflets were falsified. The whole case abounds in terrible violations of law and logic. They are reported in great detail in Russian here: http://golosa.info/kutuzov.

The case is also described in the book “The Thought Police: Authorities, Experts and Anti-Extremism Campaign in Contemporary Russia”, as an another example of political repression (co-authored by Alek D. Epstein and Oleg Vasiliev (Moscow, 2011), pp. 87-104).

But even under the pressure of state agencies the court did not prohibit Andrey to teach as was demanded by the prosecutor. We believe, it was because of a high support from his close colleagues and from academic the whole academic community. In March 2011, scholars and students from the Department of translation studies (where Andrey worked) signed a public letter (in Russian: http://golosa.info/node/4887 ), where they questioned the impartiality and independence of the court. They described Andrey Kutuzov as a prominent scholar and a talented lecturer. According to them, Andrey never imposed his views on anybody or used his academic status for non-professional purposes. The local academic community does not think Andrey is guilty and believes that the case has been forged because of his political activities.

We demand Andrey be reinstated because we believe this dismissal to be illegal and severely violates principles of academic freedom.

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The Reinstate Andrey Kutuzov in his teaching position petition to Tyumen State University was written by Olga and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.