Dmitry Kolker

On 30 June, the Russian and international society was shaken by the grotesque, more like a Soviet-era story – the terminally ill scientist Dmitry Kolker was accused of state treason and taken straight from his hospital bed in Novosibirsk to Moscow's Lefortovo pre-detention center. On the night of the second to third of July, the scientist died.
Dmitry Kolker, 54, was a Doctor of Physics and mathematics, head of the Laboratory of Quantum Optical Technologies at the Institute of Laser Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Novosibirsk State University, as well as a professor at the Novosibirsk State Technical University Department of Laser Systems.

Kolker had been admitted to hospital the day before due to a sudden deterioration in his health, where, according to his relatives, he had to be fed through an IV due to pancreatic cancer. Despite the existence of a law listing illnesses that prevent people from being detained and kept in custody, permission was granted by the court to arrest the dying man.

Through verified lectures to state treason

Cases involving "state treason" are considered top secret, so specific details are rarely revealed to the broader public. However, according to his son, Maxim Kolker, the reason for the prosecution may have been the lectures his father gave in 2018 in China at the technical seminar. The fact that the lectures were properly checked before they were presented, and that the scientist himself was forbidden to communicate in English with his Chinese colleagues (this was closely monitored by the FSB officers accompanying him), did not play any role.
"Stage 4 pancreatic cancer is a sentence. But to meet this verdict not at home, but in a pre-trial detention center without proper medical care is the worst thing that can happen to a person," Alina Mironova, daughter of the scientist, commented on social media.

In response to the case, the July 1st Club, an informal community of academics and correspondents of the Russian Academy of Sciences, posted an open letter calling for the punishment of those responsible for the decision to transport the sick man and pointing out once again that, according to the July 1st Club members, the Kolker lectures that formed the basis of the punishment were authorized for export and contained no state secrets.