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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moscow Woman Uses Blog to Advocate for Pregnant and Incarcerated Friend

From our friends at feministing.com:

As if we needed more proof that blogs and female friendships are both incredible forces of social change, check this out.

Russian lawyer, Svetlana Bakhmina, 39, has been in prison for over three years for tax evasion and embezzlement. Human rights advocates in and outside of Russia have argued, from the get go, that Bakhmina was basically a scapegoat for the real target of the investigation: crooked bazillionaire Dmitri Gololobov.

In any case, Bakhima became pregnant with her third child (she already has a 7 year old and an 11 year old) on a furlough and now the prison camp in Mordovia is refusing to entertain her plea for early release.

Outraged by this, Bakhima's middle school friend, Olga Kalashnikova, wrote a letter on her blog and later to the president about how outraged she was that her dear friend was forced to stay in prison on false charges while pregnant.

An excerpt:

Respected Dmitri Anatolevich. I know that the courts in our country are independent. But I am certain that with your will it is fully possible to return a mother to her children. Whether she is guilty or not -- that's not important now. In any case, she has been punished more than enough. And she has already served as an example. But, it is her children who have been punished first of all. Both the two boys who are living without her for the fourth year, and that child that has yet to be born.

The blog evolved into a
full blown petition campaign and now over 80,000 have signed for Bakhima's release.

What has your middle school bestie done for you lately?

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