History of Ildar Dadin
Anastasia M. Zotova
Repressions are coming back to Russia, and my family has become one of their first victims. Last December, my fiance was sentenced to three years in prison for defending human rights.

Ildar Dadin requested the Russian authorities to respect the Constitution and the Convention on Human Rights. He resented the fratricidal war in the Donbass. He criticized officials and security forces that repeatedly violate the Russian laws. He stood up for tolerance and against violence. And now, he had to go to jail because of that.

Eighteen months ago, Russia introduced a new repressive article in the law which provides criminal penalties for those people who allegedly violate the rules of conduct at the meeting. A person who is detained at the protest event, may be sentenced not only for the current violation but also the previous ones, for which he or she had already been punished: cumulatively. Thus, the protester may be punished twice for the same offense.

It is noteworthy that Ildar did not violate the rules of holding mass events. He participated in the individual pickets which are not prohibited by Russian law. That is why he was detained by the Police and then the Police falsified records inventing law violations.

Ildar repeatedly took part in the pickets. In 2012, he was an observer during the presidential elections. He noticed violations of the electoral process and tried to contact the Police. But the Police, rather than to detain the offenders, took him and other observers in an abandoned industrial zone and threatened them with punishment if they did not keep quiet.

The election had been won by Vladimir Putin. I write in quotes, as such election is hardly honest: not only Ildar but other observers as well were talking about flagrant violations in their polling stations. Almost everyone has failed to file a protest against the election results in the courts.

In March 2012, large For Fair Elections rally was held in Moscow, near the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin, who entered the history of Russian literature as a singer of freedom. Protesters who did not leave on time, were grabbed by the Police, thrown into the snow, beaten, their hands were wrenched. Everyone, even the girls.

On that day, Ildar was detained for the first time. Struck by the behavior of the police, he talked with lawyers and realized that law enforcement officials cynically violated the law, and the authorities condoned this. He decided the change was necessary. And he vowed to fight against violations of the laws and injustice. For clarification: to fight exclusively by peaceful and legal means. He wore placards, wrote statements, collected signatures, distributed leaflets.

The repression continued. The Police turned a protest rally on May 6, 2012, into a massacre, and detained dozens of people who were sentenced to prison terms. Then the Pussy Riot girls were arrested. Ildar kept supporting all the wrongfully convicted, he demanded democratic change.

He was already known by the Police: a strong young man who never physically resists arrests but cites the Constitution and requires the law on the police to be obeyed: introduce, announce the reason for detention, and show the documents.

Ildar has already known legislation by heart and quoted from memory. Enraged policemen beat him in cars and in the precincts, tied his hands and feet, sealed his mouth with duct tape

Dadin was detained on Manezh Square on August 6, 2014. In the video attached to the case, it is clear that he has not even reached the venue of the pickets. When he was detained he carried no poster and no explanation of the reason for the detention was given to him, and no documents and IDs were shown to him by the Police.

In August 23, 2014, Dadin was again detained on Manezh Square, this time during a solitary picket near the Marshal Zhukov monument where pickets take place every week. No approvals are necessary for individual pickets, and they are not prohibited by law; however, the Police detained Ildar without explaining the reason for the detention and without showing their documents.

A similar incident occurred on September 13, 2014. As it can be seen on the video-footage, it really was Ildars solitary picket.
However, a key episode of Ildars drama occurred on December 5, 2014. A peaceful rally that is allowed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, took place at the Myasnitskaya Street.

In December, 2014, Ildar was repeatedly threatened by State authorities and advised to leave otherwise he would be arrested. He did not leave though as he refused to give up and he has never been be a coward: he wanted to remain a Personality with capital P.

On January 15, 2015, Ildar went to Manezh Square where the event to express support for Oleg Navalny was held. Oleg Navalny, a hostage of the regime, is a brother of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and he was arrested and convicted of fraud while in reality he carried out usual business.

After having spent two weeks in jail, Ildar was not released. He was taken to court straight from the jail where criminal proceedings were launched against him. Then he was brought to the investigator who explained that the prosecution has commenced criminal proceedings for alleged violation of law during a rally on January 15, i.e. the same matter Ildar had been sentenced to stay in prison for 15 days.

It was much later when investigators decided to change the key facts of the events and connected Ildars alleged crime to the rally of 5 December 2014. The events of August 6 and 23, as well as September 13, were added to the case despite the fact Dadin had already been sentenced for participation in them.

The lawsuit lasted about six months. Witnesses confirmed that Dadin never violated Russian laws. The case was documented by video records proving his innocence. However, the judge knowingly issued an unjust verdict: three years in the colony.

What we need most right now is your information help. The requirement by the international community to release political prisoners may have an impact on the Russian authorities. We will fight against repressions as strongly as we can but we need the support of human rights activists and politicians. We call on the world to get out February 7, 2016, on the streets of their cities to share support for Ildar.

Our common slogan: Free world for #FreeDadin.

Ildar Dadin


Alexis A. Navalny

Oleg A. Navalny

Monument to Alexander S. Pushkin


Pussy Riot

Vladimir V. Putin


Russian Federation

Russian-Ukrainian war