Igor Sutyagin

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Igor Sutyagin is a disarmament researcher with the U.S. and Canada Institute who was convicted of espionage. A former graduate of the physical faculty in Moscow State University, Sutytagin joined the Institute of the USA and Canada and obtained Ph.D. in History.


Espionage Charges

Prosecutors accused Sutyagin of passing classified information about the country's nuclear weapons to a London based firm. However the Kaluga regional court ruled in 2001 that the evidence presented by the prosecutor did not support the charges brought against him and returned the case to the prosecutor for further investigation. Then in April 2004 a Moscow city court found Sutyagin guilty and sentenced him to 14 years in a maximum security facility. Mercifully, the sentence included the time served since his arrest in October 1999. In August 2005 the Supreme Court of Russia rejected his appeal from the conviction.

Punishing Whistle-Blowing

Sutyagin claimed the decision was unjust and insisted that he had no access to confidential information. Observers agreed he had no access to classified information and described the severe sentence as an effort to discourage citizens from sharing sensitive information with professional colleagues from other countries. Russian government officials claimed Sutyagin had wittingly or unwittingly entered into a paid arrangement with a foreign intelligence service. Domestic and international human rights NGOs raised concerns that the prosecution was politically motivated, and point to the conduct of the trial and lengthy sentence as supporting evidence. Sutyagin is beleived to be in a penal facility in Arkhangelsk Oblast, in the Russian far north.


External Links

  • Support Igor Sutyagin
  • Background
  • Amnesty International
  • Nuclear Arctic
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