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‘We demand the torture cease’ Margaret Atwood, Jude Law, Salman Rushdie, and more than 100 other public figures call for Alexey Navalny’s release

Source: Meduza
Evgeny Feldman

April 28, 2023

To President Putin,

As we write and you are well aware, Alexey Navalny is being held in IK-6, one of the harshest penal colonies in your country. He has been consistently returned to solitary confinement, squeezed into a concrete cell the size of a dog kennel, with no ventilation. Visits from relatives and phone calls are forbidden, his attorney-client privileges have been canceled. Despite running a fever, he is required to stand all day. 

We add our voices to those of the 600 Russian doctors requesting urgent and immediate independent medical help. A further 100 Russian lawyers and 100 regional deputies are demanding that the torture of Navalny cease and again that medical assistance be provided. 

Navalny is serving prison sentences based on charges which would never have been upheld under any independent legal system. We support the call of the German government, the U.S. authorities, and the European Union demanding his immediate release. It is in your power.

Michael Abramowitz (president of Freedom House)

JJ Abrams (filmmaker, composer)

Pamela Adlon (actress)

Paige Alexander (CEO of the Carter Center)

Svetlana Alexievich (journalist, writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Anne Applebaum (journalist, writer)

Margaret Atwood (writer)

Mikhail Baryshnikov (dancer, choreographer)

Gina Bellman (actress)

François Berléand (actor)

Ingrid Betancourt (politician, activist, writer)

François Bizot (anthropologist)

William Boyd (writer)

John Burnham Schwartz (writer, screenwriter)

Ken Burns (filmmaker)

Carole Cadwalladr (journalist, writer)

Alastair Campbell (journalist, writer)

Éric Cantona (actor, former professional footballer)

Elizabeth Carling (actress, singer)

Emmanuel Carrère (writer, filmmaker)

Jung Chang (writer)

Enzo Cilenti (actor)

Christopher Clark (historian)

JM Coetzee (writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Costa-Gavras (filmmaker)

Benedict Cumberbatch (actor)

Alan Cumming (actor)

Charles Cumming (writer)

Emma Cunniffe (actress)

Rachel Cusk (writer)

Richard Dawkins (biologist, writer)

David Duchovny (actor, writer, singer)

Pasquale Esposito (actor, singer, filmmaker)

Sir Richard Evans (historian)

Sebastian Faulks (writer)

Niall Ferguson (historian)

Orlando Figes (historian)

Kate Fleetwood (actress)

Jonathan Franzen (writer)

Michael Frayn (writer)

Neil Gaiman (writer)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (historian, editor, filmmaker)

Jamie Glover (actor)

Linda Goldstein Knowlton (filmmaker, producer)

Vesna Goldsworthy (poet, writer)

Philip Gourevitch (journalist, writer)

Roy Greenslade (journalist, writer)

Sienna Guillory (actress)

Nedim Gürsel (writer)

Matt Haig (journalist, writer)

David Hare (filmmaker, writer)

Irina Higgins (neuroscientist)

Stephen Hopkins (filmmaker)

Sharon Horgan (actress, writer, filmmaker)

Anthony Horowitz (writer)

Rebecca Johnson (actress)

Erling Kagge (writer, explorer)

Bentley Kalu (actor)

Daniel Kehlmann (writer)

Etgar Keret (writer)

Jemima Khan (UNICEF ambassador)

David Lavin (entrepreneur)

Jude Law (actor)

Kathy Lette (writer)

Marc Levy (writer)

Dixie Linder (producer)

Giorgio Marchesi (actor)

Agnès Martin-Lugand (writer)

Mariana Martins (entrepreneur)

Natascha McElhone (actress)

Ian McEwan (writer)

Catherine Merridale (historian)

Claire Messud (writer)

Tim Minchin (comedian, writer, musician)

Herta Müller (writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Charlie Murphy (actress)

Péter Nádas (writer)

Azar Nafisi (writer, professor)

Sylvia Nasar (journalist)

Bill Nighy (actor)

Amélie Nothomb (writer)

Trevor Nunn (theatre director)

Tracy Ann Oberman (actress, playwright)

George Packer (journalist, writer)

Orhan Pamuk (writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Daniele Pecci (actor, film director)

Maria Popova (writer, poet)

Ellendea Proffer Teasley (writer, translator, editor)

Philip Pullman (writer)

Charlotte Randall (writer)

Dame Vanessa Redgrave (actress, activist)

David Remnick (journalist, writer, editor)

Jean Reno (actor)

Daniel Roher (Oscar-winning documentary maker)

JK Rowling (writer)

Arundathi Roy (writer)

Salman Rushdie (writer)

Alicia Sams (producer)

Nitin Sawhney (composer, producer)

Simon Schama (historian)

Kristin Scott Thomas (actress)

Simon Sebag-Montefiore (writer, historian)

Zaab Sethna (businessman)

Claudia Silver (actress, screenwriter)

Peter Singer (writer, activist)

Ali Smith (writer)

Timothy Snyder (historian)

Art Spiegelman (cartoonist, editor)

Samantha Spiro (actress)

Juliet Stevenson (actress)

Tom Stoppard (playwright)

Alexia Stresi (writer)

Arch Tait (translator, editor)

Paul Theroux (writer)

Olga Tokarczuk (writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Katherine Tozer (writer)

Mark Umbers (actor)

Álvaro Vargas Llosa (writer, political commentator)

Mario Vargas Llosa (writer, Nobel Prize winner)

Indira Varma (actress)

Marina Warner (writer, historian)

Dominic West (actor)

Olivia Williams (actress)

Rowan Williams (ex-Archbishop of Canterbury, poet, philosopher, peace negotiator)

Simon Winchester (journalist, writer)

Susannah Wise (actress)

James Wood (writer)

Lawrence Wright (journalist, writer)

Thom Yorke (singer, composer, songwriter)

Assad Zaman (actor)

Elsa Zylberstein (actress)

People in Russia need us more than ever now. Help us to continue our work.
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