"His back was broken, but his spirit was not broken." On the death of Sergei Mokhnatkin
One of the most famous and uncompromising Russian human rights defenders has died from the consequences of monstrous beatings in prison.
Last night news came: human rights activist Sergei Mokhnatkin died. His fame began with the fact that on the eve of the new year 2010 he ended up with products for the New Year's table on Triumfalnaya Square, where a protest rally was held as part of the “Strategy-31” of the Russian opposition. Mokhnatkin stood up for the woman whom the riot police dragged into a wagon, broke one of the policemen’s nose. He was detained and put in the same wagon with Limonov. Since then, for many years he almost did not leave places of deprivation of liberty, having left there as an invalid.
Social networks remember Mokhnatkin as a good word.
Publicist Sergei Mitrofanov:
“What a sorrow. Absolutely uncompromising person. Should have entered the stratosphere, as he was known. And he came out... to the other world..."
Political scientist Sergey Medvedev:
“The real man is dead. Not a politician, not an oppositionist, not a dissident, just a man who lived by conscience. He alone did something that none of us dares to: passing the rally, stood up for the woman who was beaten by cops, on December 31, 2009, at Triumfalnaya. And he continued to speak out against lawlessness wherever his system threw: in pre-trial detention centers, colonies, and courts. They beat and broke him more and more - they did not break the will, but broke the spine.
“Several employees kicked well on the floor, and one healthy (one hundred kilograms) knee fell on his back and lower back - I immediately felt a fracture. The pain is severe. It’s better to break your arms or legs than your spine. He even dreamed of losing consciousness while he stood with this knee on my already broken spine. ”
With a broken backbone, he was sent to a pre-trial detention center: “They threw me like a sack of bones into a jail block, transported me to a pre-trial detention center. They refused to provide medical care, to call an ambulance. I shouted: "Take an X-ray so that it isn’t - a simulator or not a simulator." It was made much later. They tried, including a forensic expert, to hide the date of the fracture and circumstances”. And they continued, broken, to beat further, already in IK-21 near Plesetsk.
After his release, while under investigation in a new case, he continued to engage in human rights protection and headed the Tver branch of the For Human Rights movement. An operation was performed on the spine, but the situation worsened. At the end of 2019, his legs refused. “He lies on one side. It is not possible to turn it over to the other side or to the back, because there are terrible pains. Even painkillers do not help, ”said his common-law wife. Pressure ulcers appeared. He was transferred from hospital to hospital, from Tver to Konakovo, Sklif refused him. Slow, painful death. Just walked by. He simply stood up for a woman - when we all press on the walls, shoot on a mobile phone and chant “shame”.
It is very difficult to remember and write all this now, fists clench and there is a lump in the throat. Of such people as Yuri Dmitriev and Sergey Mokhnatkin, this is real, indigenous Russia. Which they are now finishing off, they are breaking through the cop’s boots..."
Publicist Rustem Adagamov:
“This is the episode with which the human rights activist Mokhnatkin began.
12/31/2009, Triumfalnaya Square, action in defense of the Constitution. Mokhnatkin is trying to recapture an elderly woman from the cops of the 2nd operpol. After that, he was hardly taken to a paddy wagon, where they began to beat him, and he responded to the beating. For which he received his first term - 2.5 years in prison. Then there will be a second term, and the third and fourth. Mokhnatkin will everywhere “pump up rights”, seeking justice, and for this they will beat him and put him in solitary confinement. In 2017, his back will be broken in Kotlas IK-4. Mokhnatkin turned out to be a completely iron man and became an unbending fighter for civil rights. And it all started then, on the eve of the new year 2010 at Triumphal. I shot this scene, quite ordinary, not knowing what kind of person this is.
Bright memory to the hero!”
Human rights activist Eva Kantor:
“One of the few people who fought to the end without sparing themselves. In the prison, where he was thrown without guilt and without committing any crimes, his spine was broken twice. His back was broken, but his spirit was not broken.
Nobody is forgotten, nothing is forgotten. Good man Sergey Evgenievich Mokhnatkin first of all"