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Freedom for Mikhail Lobanov!

Statement of the Trade Union Committee (“Academic Solidarity”) of Lomonosov Moscow University

At 6 a.m. on December 29, the police burst into the apartment of Mikhail Lobanov, assistant professor of the mechanical-mathematical faculty of Lomonosov University in Moscow, doctor of science, activist of the “University Solidarity” trade union. With the door kicked in, the police knocked Mikhail to the ground and beat him, under the pretext of a “search” linked to the prosecution of a so-called “spread of fake news”. Subsequently, Mikhaïl was accused of “refusing to obey the police” and imprisoned for 15 days. On the same day, other civil activists were also searched.

Mikhail Lobanov is a colleague and comrade known for a long time for his activity in defence of the rights of students and professors of the University of Moscow and of the inhabitants of the Moscow district of Ramenki. He was one of the founders of the “University Solidarity” trade union and chairman of its grassroots organization at Lomonosov University. In 2021 he applied for the legislative elections to block a candidate from the government party, then became one of the organizers of the electoral platform “VyDvijenié” (“You are a movement”) which brought together independent candidates in the municipal elections. Being an internationalist and anti-fascist in principle, Mikhail Lobanov has been a firm supporter of peace and the cessation of hostilities since the beginning of the “special military operation”.

To accuse this scholar and civil activist of spreading “fake facts” or of behaving aggressively is nonsense. To bludgeon him and throw him in prison is an infringement of the law and a disgrace.

We are convinced that the persecution of Mikhail Lobanov is a political reprisal against a civil and trade union activist aimed at intimidating all those who, in our difficult situation, want to defend the rights and freedoms of workers and citizens.

We demand the immediate cessation of the proceedings against Mikhail Lobanov and launch an appeal for solidarity with him to our academic colleagues, trade unions and civil associations in Russia and abroad. We consider that the leadership of Lomonosov Moscow University and the mechanical-mathematical faculty should do everything possible to defend the scientist and professor who has contributed a lot to the work of our university. Freedom for Mikhail Lobanov!

Any forms of solidarity welcome!

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