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Russian Civil Rights Activist, Family Flee Russia To Avoid 'Persecution'

Aleksandr Mulyukin told RFE/RL that he and his family are currently in an unnamed EU country. (file photo)

A Russian civil rights activist from the city of Samara in the Volga region says he has fled Russia with his wife and three children to avoid persecution.

Aleksandr Mulyukin told RFE/RL on March 5 that he and his family are currently in a European Union country, where they have applied for political asylum.

Mulyukin, who is 49 and has diabetes, says that local authorities in Samara put pressure on him and his family after he took part in several rallies protesting pension reforms last year.

"We cannot go back to Russia, because I can be persecuted there, or even die because of my medical condition," Mulyukin said.

According to Mulyukin, since November, local drugstores in Samara have refused to sell him insulin, which he needs on a daily basis.

"After I turned to the Health Ministry and the prosecutor's office to address the situation, I started receiving threats from unknown individuals by phone," Mulyukin said.

He also told RFE/RL that his and his wife's relatives have been subjected to "psychological pressure" by the local authorities in Samara.

He added that lawyers from the Open Russia civic movement established by exiled former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky are currently assisting him and his family.

Mulyukin did not say what country he and his family are in currently.