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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Update on Kozlovsky reports (LR staff translation):

Oleg Kozlovsky, the leader of the Oborona ("Defense") opposition movement who was forcibly inducted into the Russian Army at the end of last year, has been found medically unfit for military service during peacetime according to a report from Echo of Moscow radio based on statements by military medical officers who examined Kozlovsky.

Oborona member Pavel Shaykin told reporters that the organization received information from the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Ryazan of a conclusion arrived at by the military hospital in Ryazan that Kozlovsky's status is "limited fitness" for military service. Shaykin said that Oborona's attorneys are currently filing suit against the Military Prosecutor's Office for deprivation of education as well as pursuing enforcement of the military regulations regarding conscription which should result in Kozlovsky's discharge.

Kozlowski was forcibly taken for military enlistment at the end of December. Now he is in the military section #12691 in the Ryazan region. He has written a protest letter alleging that his induction was carried out as a "special operation" by Russia's secret police (the KGB, now known as the FSB). He wrote: "It is clear that this method of seeking to separate and isolate specific opposition activists is relied upon because legitimate grounds for harassing them do not exist since our organization relies strictly upon legal and non-violent means of protest. The authorities seek to cloak their repression in the guise of legal actions, knowing that they need to proffer excuses and justifications for their actions. "

On December 26th a group of politicians and community leaders demanded Kozlovsky's immediate release from the army. Thier message was sent to the Attorney General of Russia, the Minister of Defense and Military Commissioner Russia in Moscow.

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