September 26, 2013 by AK
The letter has worked, in a way: several member of the presidential human rights commission have visited the IK-14 penal colony where Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot is serving her two-year term. One of them, Ilya Shablinsky – a professor of constitutional law at the Higher School of Economics, perhaps Russia’s best university – says he has met some of the inmates and their accounts were hair-raising.
What’s sad is the number of ugly comments to the Guardian piece. Some of them are by Putin’s paid scribblers, others by misguided Russians; yet others by guardianistas who just cannot stand ‘America’ and rush on an impulse to defend dictators who appear to be ‘standing up against’ its ‘imperialism’. The most common method, accounting for 70-80% of the nasty comments, is whataboutery: “Guantanamo is as bad! US jails are as horrible!”