International Anarchist Defence Committee: on behalf of Ghezzi

We have it from an implicitly reliable source that Francesco Ghezzi is in the direst straits.

You will recall that Ghezzi is a revolutionary worker, an Italian anarchist, sentenced in absentia and on political grounds to 18 years’ hard labour by fascist courts; a refugee in Russia since 1922, Ghezzi was arrested by the Russian GPU in May 1929 and secretly sentenced to 3 years hard labour. 

Since then, many personalities and left-wing movements have been mounting activities in protest at such scandalous procedures, with an eye to having Ghezzi freed and sent abroad.

To date, that demand has not been given any consideration by the Russian government which has not so much as deigned to offer any serious justification for its behaviour with regard to this revolutionary.

Instead, Ghezzi, incarcerated in the Suzdal penitentiary, was subjected to a regimen inhuman in its severity; weakened by the lengthy terms of imprisonment previously endured in the capitalist countries, there he is right now, bed-ridden due to tuberculosis. 

This affair threatens to achieve dimensions reminiscent of the Sacco-Vanzetti case.

Is the Moscow government, assailed by serious difficulties at home and abroad, going to persist in its stance and thereby defy the feelings and wishes of a portion of the revolutionary world proletariat and lose whatever prestige it still has in such circles?

Or, contrary to such unfortunately traditional procedures, will it heed the workers’ protests and allow Ghezzi to cross its borders and rejoin his class comrades who await him with open arms?

The secretary: Hem Day

From: Le Flambeau (Brest), No 34, February 1931 

Translated by: Paul Sharkey.