IFLA FAIFE Statement on the Continued House Arrest of Natalya Sharina, as Moscow Prosecutor General’s Office Refuses to Sign Her Indictment
IFLA remains extremely concerned over the treatment of Natalya Sharina, Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow. Natalya was arrested and placed under house arrest in October 2015 after being accused of inciting hatred or animosity towards a social group by allegedly holding banned books in the Library. Natalya was subsequently arrested, and then placed under house arrest.
In April 2016 she was also charged with misappropriating library funds and her house arrest was subsequently extended.
The preliminary investigation was completed in July, and the case transferred to the public prosecution bodies for approval of the indictment and further transfer of the case to the court for examination. However, on 15 August 2016 the public prosecution refused to send the case to court and referred the case back for further investigation. As a consequence, her house arrest continues and according to media reports this has been extended to 28 October 2016. This means that she will have been under house arrest for over a year.
IFLA believes that the treatment of the Library of Ukrainian Literature, and its staff – and in particular Natalya Sharina – as completely disproportionate and unnecessary, and an attack on libraries and librarians. As such it is an attack on democracy, learning and culture.
IFLA FAIFE will continue to monitor developments in Russia and strongly supports Natalya Sharina, her legal team and her colleagues at the Library of Ukrainian Literature. IFLA calls upon the Russian officials to release Natalya Sharina and end the legal proceedings immediately.