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Lev Aleksandrovitch Ponomaryov (September 2, 1941, Tomsk) is a Russian political and civil activist. He is an executive director of the all-Russian movement "For Human Rights." He is a member of the Federal Political Council of Solidarnost, and deputy to the first State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia.
Ponomaryov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MFTI) in 1965 and from the doctorate program of the same institute in 1968, becoming a doctor of physics and mathematics. He worked in the Theoretical and Experimental Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and taught in the MFTI in the general physics department.
In 1988, Ponomaryov was one of the initiators of the creation of The Memorial, an all-Russian institution for commemoration of victims of political repressions.
In 1989, he was an election agent of Andrei Sakharov at the election of USSR deputies of people. He took part in a Coordination Council of Moscow Union of electors and in the initiative group for the creation of the Civil Action Committee.
In 1990, he was elected a deputy of people of the Russian Federation. From 1990 to 1993, Lev Ponomarev was a deputy of people of the Russian Federation, a member of the Council of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, a member of the Committee for Mass Media, Relations with Civil Organizations, Mass Movements of Citizens and Study of Public Opinion, a member of the Democratic Russia faction and of a group of deputies called Army Reform.
In 1993, he lost the elections to the State Duma in a one-mandate circumscription and in the list of the electoral union The Choice of Russia. Ponomarev entered the Parliament after the death of the deputy Vasily Selunin. From 1994 to 1996 he was a deputy of the State Duma, a member of the Committee for CEI Affairs and Communication with Compatriots.
In 1997, Ponomaryov founded All-Russian Movement For Human Rights and became its executive director and a member of the Council of the Movement. Also in 1997, Ponomaryov was one of the founders of the "Hotline" and the movement "For Human Rights". He also founded and is one of the most active members of the Common Action group.
He has been a member of The Other Russia coalition since its foundation in 2006 and also a member of its executive committee.
In 2007, he lost a case of defence of honour and dignity against Yury Kalinin, the Director of the Federal Service of Execution of Penalties (FSIN). The court obliged Ponomaryov to refute the unreliable information about Kalinin that he had made public.
He actively defended the ex-owner of YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the other persons sentenced for economical offences in the YUKOS case. Some human rights activists consider that these persons are persecuted for political reasons (making them political prisoners) and that the charges against them are fabricated. In 2007, he appealed to President Putin to release Khodorkovsky. In 2009, together with other Solidarnost activists, Roman Dobrokhotov, Oleg Kozlovsky, Aleksander Rykline, Sergey Davidis, Mikhail Schneider, Vladimir Milov, Garry Kasparov and Boris Nemtsov, Lev Ponomaryov took part in a series of individual pickets in front of Meschansky district court and held a slogan "Freedom to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev".
Lev Ponomarev is a member of the United Democratic Movement "Solidarnost". On December 13, 2008, at the first Solidarnost congress, he was elected as a member of the political council of this movement.
Late in the evening on March 31, 2009, he was physically assaulted near his home. Ludmila Alekseeva thinks that this attack was connected with his political and human rights activities within the "Solidarnost" movement. At the meeting of Russian and US Presidents on April 1, 2009, Barack Obama, according to his assistants, mentioned the attack against Ponomarev among the main US concerns about Russia.
On March 10, 2010 he signed an appeal of the Russian opposition stating "Putin must go".
On July 14, 2010, he declared that he considered it necessary to maintain article 282 of the Penal Code.
On August 25, 2010 he was sentenced to a 3-day arrest for attempting to carry the state flag of the Russian Federation along Arbat Street on State Flag Day, August 22. The day before, Boris Nemtsov was acquitted in the same case.
On September 7, 2010 he was sentenced to a 4-day arrest for disobedience of the police.
Decorations and awards
•2010—Ponomaryov was decorated with a Commandor's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by a decree of the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński "for outstanding results in the defence of human rights and promotion of civil freedoms".
Lev Ponomaryov has two daughters from his first marriage, Elena Liptser and Xenia. He was then married to Eugenia Ilyina with whom he has had two children, Anastasia and Fedor, born in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
- All Russia Movement for Human Rights
- Committee to Free Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev
- Habeas-Corpus.net, the pro Justice and Democracy web
- Open Letter to Russian President by Sergey Kovalyov regarding the attack on Lev Ponomaryov