Font Size

Layout

Menu Style

Cpanel

Last page of Aleksandr Dolmatov's suicide note claims he struggled with 'drugs and narcissism'

The controversy over the death of the Russian opposition activist Aleksandr Dolmatov in Rotterdam has intensified after a website published the missing page of his suicide note.

A rally against Vladimir Putin shortly before his re-election as president of Russia last spring.Gazeta.ru said the last page of the note, addressed to Dolmatov’s mother Ludmilla, described his life as “stupid and senseless” and spoke of battles with drugs, extravagance and “narcissism”.

Dolmatov was found dead at Rotterdam Airport’s immigration detention centre on January 17, the day after he was taken into custody. He fled Russia in June and sought political asylum in the Netherlands, but in December by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) turned down his application.

A month before his departure the 36-year-old engineer, a leader of the opposition movement Another Russia, he had taken part in a protest against the re-election of President Vladimir Putin.

His family and his lawyer, Marq Wijngaarden, insist he took his own life under duress after being approached twice by the Russian secret police, the FSB.

The note to his mother was written over six pages of his notebook and published shortly after his death, but with the final page missing.

Gazeta.ru said the last page was initially withheld because of “ethical concerns”. It says Dolmatov's later years were tainted by “drugs and extravagance”, adding: “Indolence, narcissism and lust have held me back in my development”.

The disclosure of the full note is unlikely to dispel the concerns of his family and fellow activists, some of whom say the langugae used rings less than authentic.

Wijngaarden has also questioned why Dolmatov was taken into custody in the first place when his appeal against the immigration service’s decision was still outstanding. The centre where he was held is intended for asylum seekers who have lost their last chance to appeal and are waiting to be deported.

The lawyer is also demanding to know whether the Dutch intelligence service AIVD had any contact with Dolmatov since he arrived in the Netherlands. The AIVD says it does not comment on its dealings with individuals.

Last week the activist’s death made the news when Queen Beatrix, on a state visit to Brunei, acknowledged she had received a letter from his mother and described his death as a tragedy.

Under-secretary of state for justice Fred Teeven has said a full inquiry will be held into the circumstances of Dolmatov’s death.