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Salidjon Abdurakhmanov, Journalist aus Usbekistan, Preisträger 2014

Im Exil in Berlin - und immer mittendrin

Telegram-Botschaft von Salidjon am 17.3.2024:

"On the day of the Russian presidential election, March 17, at about 11:45, I approached the Russian Embassy in Berlin. The Russian opposition called on Russian citizens to come to the polling stations at 12:00 to protest the nomination of Vladimir Putin again for president. There were many who responded to the call "Noon against Putin" in Germany: the stream of people stretched for several blocks.

The police directed new arrivals to the end of the line. I walked in the indicated direction for several hundred meters and took my place in the queue. Ten minutes passed. Suddenly there is a revival at the end of the rows. I see: a ring has formed. Yulia Navalnaya talks to those gathered (I recognized her immediately, as I had seen her several times before in the media). I didn't hear what they were talking about. But it’s not hard to guess: about the lack of democracy, about human rights violations in Russia, about her husband, a fighter for a free Russia, Alexei Navalny.

I knew that Yulia would not stay here long: she needed to go through the entire line of those gathered. Yulia was just saying goodbye to those gathered. I approached her, greeted her, introduced myself and asked permission to take a photo. "Why not," Yulia answered. I asked the lady next to her to take a photo with my phone. The lady took my phone and took a photo. I didn’t take up Yulia’s time with conversations, I just said: "I’ll send you my materials about Alexei." Yulia nodded her head and I said goodbye to her and left the circle.

By this time the line had lengthened by another fifty meters. Yulia Navalnaya went to the new arrivals. About ten minutes later, Yulia and those accompanying her passed us forward to the beginning of the formation. At this time, I was sitting on a bench nearby and, when Yulia passed by, I stood up and silently took off my hat. This was in memory of Alexei Navalny.

I made it to the rally in front of the embassy after the speech of oppositionist Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yulia Navalnaya. The speakers I saw and heard accused President Putin of the military invasion of Ukraine, the persecution of the opposition, the stifling of freedom of speech, and the murder of Alexei Navalny. Those gathered repeated in chorus: "Navalny is a hero! Navalny hero!"

I was standing among those gathered and for some reason imagining the Austrians in Branau on the day of Johann’s execution in August 1806 and the cries of the crowd: "Palm is a hero! Palm hero!"

I know that between the self-sacrifice of Johann Philipp Palm, executed by Napoleon in August 1806 for the honor of freedom of speech, and the courage of Alexei Navalny for freedom and democracy in Russia and killed for this in prison in February 2024, there is an invisible thread that has permeated more than two centuries of history.

As long as there are violations of human rights in the world, as long as one country encroaches on the independence of another country, this thread becomes stronger and stronger and will never break. Dozens and hundreds of Johann Palms and Alexei Navalny are taking to the battlefield for justice, human rights and democracy. Evidence of this is the square in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on March 17, 2024."


 Salidjons Dankesrede vom Dezember 2018 nach seiner Haftentlassung