Conviction of librarian must be quashed

Natalia Sharina (Foto: PEN international)

On 5 June 2017, Natalia Sharina, former Director of the state-run Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, was found guilty of ‘incitement of hatred’ towards Russian people and ‘embezzlement’ and handed-down a four-year suspended sentence for holding ‘extremist literature’. She was arrested in October 2015 after investigators found banned works by Ukrainian nationalist Dmitry Korchinsky in the library she headed. She denied these belonged to the collection and claimed they had been planted. She spent 19 months under house arrest, throughout the investigation and trial, during which time her health seriously deteriorated. She has appealed her conviction and her next trial hearing is expected to take place in the autumn. PEN International believes that the case against Natalia Sharina is politically motivated and calls for her sentence and conviction to be quashed.

Please send appeals:

  • Urging the Russian authorities to quash the conviction and sentence of Natalia Sharina;
  • Calling on them to uphold the rights to freedom of expression and information and to not prosecute librarians over the content of library materials;
  • Urging them to review anti-extremism legislation so that it does not curtail the right to freedom of expression.

Send appeals to:

Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
Yurii Yakovlevich Chaika
Prosecutor General’s Office
B. Dmitrovka, d.15a
125993 Moscow GSP- 3
Russian Federation

Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation
Tatiana Nikolaevna Moskalkova
ul. Miasnitskaia, 47
107084, Moscow
Russian Federation