A working group set up by exiled Kremlin critic and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has written an open letter signed by 77 public figures condemning “the political repression and lawlessness taking place today in Russia.”
Signatories include the creators of the hit television series “Game of Thrones” David Benioff and Dan Weiss, British actor and writer Stephen Fry, Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller, former leaders of Ireland, Lithuania and Bulgaria and a host of lawmakers and heads of Western think tanks.
Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, was released from prison in 2013 after a 10-year sentence that he said was "retribution for financing political parties that opposed Putin.” After his release, Khodorkovsky founded the pro-democracy movement Open Russia.
The letter calls on Western companies, including Facebook and Google, “not to succumb” to pressure from the Russian authorities when operating in the country.
Read the full letter below.