Human rights activists ready to dance on Mikhail Khodorkovsky's bones

Do they want the oligarch to yearn and die in order to shout about blatant lawlessness and ask for more grants from the West afterwards?

The human unscrupulousness and duplicity can be highly surprising at times. It may reach an absurd situation, which makes us think about the sanity of those, the behavior of whom can raise nothing but indignation.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former CEO of Russian oil giant Yukos, went on hunger strike. Supposedly, Khodorkovsky has not been eating solids and drinking water since August 19. Any more or less educated individual would understand that Mr. Khodorkovsky's organism would experience certain irretrievable changes right now. Most likely, the oligarch is lying in his cell motionless, courageously bearing the torments of solidarity for the support of his associate, Platon Lebedev.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky will probably feel a little bit better today, no matter how blasphemous it may sound against such a background. A “dry” hunger strike quickly results in horrible dizziness, ringing in the ears and other consequences, including hallucinations. It is quite scary indeed. God save anyone from experiencing this horror.

Nevertheless, there are several well-known Russian human rights activists, who do not feel any sympathies towards Khodorkovsky. They rushed to the walls of the Sailor's Silence jail (known in Russia as the Matrosskaya Tishina penitentiary institution), where Khodorkovsky serves his term to conduct a silent action of solidarity. Most likely, they had eaten quite nutritious food before they went out on such an adventure.

What do they really want? Do they want the oligarch to yearn and die, or become a disabled individual in order to shout about blatant lawlessness and ask for more grants from the West afterwards? It seems that the whole matter is turning into a thriller and a political reality show with a thought-out scenario.

Matvey Ganapolsky, a host of the Echo of Moscow radio station, has recently put forward an idea to organize a special extreme project to let people try their luck and search for Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev. If the project had become real, it would have stirred up unhealthy interest in the internationally-wanted terrorist. It seems that the same is happening with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's hunger strike – not in the form of just an idea, but in actual reality.

Just look at the show! We have a “jailed hero,” who is supposed to be very very sick judging upon the duration of his hunger strike. We also have “the hero's comrade,” Platon Lebedev, who also finds himself in a critical condition (Lebedev was moved from his solitary cell to a punishment cell, which actually became the reason for Mr. Khodorkovsky to go on hunger strike to protest against such a decision). Human rights activists and reporters, however, circle around the dull building of Sailor's Silence. The activists will definitely benefit from their blasphemous efforts owing to reporters' help. Don't those elderly and respectable people feel ashamed of their dancing on Khodorkovsky's bones?

One may understand from this absurdity that there were not many special effects in the entire story. One could add some more: the state-run news agency RIA Novosti could probably organize a motor show near Sailor's Silence jail with fuel tanks that would be intentionally adorned with Yukos labels. Those fuel tanks could be given away to people in all regions of Russia afterwards, for instance. The fallen oil giant, as well as its creator, are in dire need of public and scandalous protection. More importantly, there are people, who can pay for all that.

That could be a very good theme for a new political reality show indeed. It would look a lot better than the “witches' Sabbath” with the “dry” hunger strike. Looking back at the past action of solidarity, we still wonder if the eminent human rights activists were not disgusted with their own actions, which reminded the ones of scavengers. Self-PR activities should probably have their moral limits. One cannot exhaust Mr. Khodorkovsky physically just for the sake of getting attention from the West, including the financial attention. Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a human being after all. However, if he perceives a hunger strike just as a game, let it stay on his conscience.

Pyotr Yermilin

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Author`s name Olga Savka