Alexei Gorinov, a municipal deputy from Moscow who was sentenced to six years and eleven months in jail for “spreading false information” about the Russian army, has received the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, as reported by the Free Alexei Gorinov Telegram channel.
Introduced in 2015, the human rights award recognizes outstanding journalists, politicians, and activists. The list of laureates includes Vladimir Kara-Murza, Alexei Navalny, and Boris Nemtsov.
"At the moment, through no fault of mine, I have not been allowed to join you at this ceremony, which I deeply regret. Please accept my apologies."
Alexei Gorinov on the Magnitsky Awards ceremony
The channel also published Gorinov's comment, which he submitted through a representative, being unable to attend the ceremony in person:
“Neither I nor the thinking part of Russian society at large managed to prevent this war or put an end to it now. Because the government has consciously destroyed all civil society feedback mechanisms. I’m not a politician at all, especially in a country where real politics as a sphere of social life does not exist and any political activity has been banned. However, there are turning points in the history of every country, moments when one cannot be silent and when the responsibility for the country’s present and future lies with its each and every citizen. Telling the truth may not always be pleasant or safe.
Ahead of standing trial before the court of history, this political regime has left us only one tribune to speak our minds: the witness stand. And the only ones allowed to speak are hand-picked. Yet while I have access to this tribune, I will not be silent. I will speak both for myself and on behalf of those supporting me and sharing my views. I believe in a better future for Russia, my homeland. Let us try to usher it in together. Thank you for the award! Convict Alexei Gorinov, Art. 207.3 of the Criminal Code, Part 2.”
On July 8, Alexei Gorinov was convicted to seven years in a penal colony for “spreading fakes” about Russia's armed forces. In September, the court heard his appeal and reduced his sentence by one month, to six years and eleven months in jail. According to the prosecution, the politician made multiple statements “containing false information about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” at the Deputy Council session on March 15. Gorinov called Russia's “special military operation” in Ukraine a war and spoke of the child victims of the Russian invasion.
During his last plea, he announced he wanted to plead guilty to the Ukrainian nation and the global community: “As a citizen of my country, I failed to do anything to stop the ongoing insanity. I also beg you to forgive me for not being able to do anything to stop it.”