GOLOS has its completed production of the film Astrakhan. Hunger Strike.
GOLOS Association has released on its website the film Astrakhan. Hunger Strike. in its entirety. The remarkable story chronicling the political hunger strike in Astrakhan runs for half an hour and covers each of the strike’s 39 days. The film was produced by Dmitry Ryzhkov, who witnessed these events alongside GOLOS Executive Director Lilia Shibanova.
Violations and acts of fraud were widely observed. The political hunger strike was started on 16 March during the Astrakhan elections held on 4 March 2012. That same day, GOLOS issued a statement in support of the protesters’ stance on electoral fraud. Violations occurred en masse during the December 2011 elections. Based on the results of observations, GOLOS held a public hearing in Moscow entitled, “Public Tribunal: the obvious and incredible 4 December elections.” There, journalists and members of the general public provided evidence of flagrant violations committed during the course of the parliamentary elections. One region that was highlighted as an example was Astrakhan. However, no measures were taken. And in March, violations of the rights of both voters and candidates occurred en masse once again during the course of the mayoral elections.
The aim of this film is to draw society’s attention to these events, to make public all evidence relating to these violations, and to demand that the government takes appropriate action. The film ends with the call, “Justice shall overcome!”
Lilia Shibanova, Executive Director of GOLOS Association for the Protection of the Rights of Voters, stated: “The massive electoral fraud and the ensuing hunger strike received an enormous public outcry. But no measures have yet been adopted. We are prepared to continue to raise public awareness of all known evidence of violations, to draw public attention to these events, and to advocate for responses by the authorities and the courts.”