Russia sentences extra dissidents to lengthy jail phrases | EUROtoday

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As Russians put together for their very own vacation season, the federal government’s crackdown on political activists and residents who’ve voiced their opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, doesn’t look like taking a break.

On Friday, a courtroom in Siberia sentenced a former head of Russian opposition chief Alexei Navalny’s native headquarters to 9 years in a penal colony. And on Thursday, two Russian poets who publicly staged antiwar poetry readings in a central Moscow sq., have been sentenced to seven years and five-and-a-half years in jail respectively.

Alarm bells have additionally been sounded over the deteriorating well being of two different males who’re serving lengthy sentences for antiwar statements, with their attorneys saying they’re afraid the lads may die in jail.

Missing Russian dissident Navalny positioned in penal colony in Siberia

The newest convictions and sentences comply with the information that well-known dissident Alexei Navalny lastly resurfaced at a penal colony above the Arctic Circle, after his whereabouts remained unknown for nearly three weeks, sending panic via his supporters and opposition circles.

The newest developments point out that Russia’s repressive machine exhibits no indicators of slowing down, and type a part of a broadening political crackdown, the place Russians are handed sentences on more and more absurd and conflated fees, usually beneath wartime censorship legal guidelines resembling spreading “fake news” or “discrediting” Russia’s armed forces, in addition to “inciting terrorism.”

The variety of treason instances was two-and-a-half occasions greater in 2023 than it was the earlier yr, with no less than 37 such instances, in accordance with First Department, a Russian watchdog. While OVD-Info, one other watchdog group, has documented 776 prison instances introduced towards residents for antiwar protests or statements since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Igor Baryshnikov, a 64-year-old anti-government activist was sentenced this June to a seven-and-a-half-year jail time period for posting about Bucha and Mariupol on Facebook. His lawyer says he’s in extreme ache and desires surgical procedure.

Former Moscow municipal deputy Alexei Gorinov, 62, who went lacking for over two weeks, resurfaced at a jail hospital in Vladimir earlier this week. His attorneys have additionally sounded the alarm over his well being. In 2022 he obtained seven years for spreading misinformation concerning the Russian military.

The crackdown now seems to be extending to LGBTQ+ teams and something the federal government dubs as an expression of LGBTQ+ identification, as President Vladimir Putin has singled them and antiwar activists out as scapegoats. In a Nov. 30 ruling, Russia’s Supreme Court endorsed a Justice Ministry software to ban the “international LGBT public movement” as an extremist group, following different repressive legal guidelines.

A raunchy celebration for Moscow’s elites earlier this month drew the ire of Russian politicians and Christian Orthodox activists, resulting in police investigations and a tearful public apology after the partygoers have been accused of violating legal guidelines prohibiting “gay propaganda.”

One rapper, who attended the celebration in nothing however a sock, was arrested for 15 days for hooliganism and “spreading gay propaganda.” The scandal has highlighted how more and more something that deviates from Russia’s conservative patriotism won’t be tolerated.

On Friday, Ksenia Fadeeva, the previous head of Navalny’s political headquarters in Tomsk, in Siberia, obtained a nine-year sentence in a penal colony and fined 500,000 rubles ($5,500), after she was discovered responsible of organizing the actions of an extremist group. Russian authorities designated Navalany’s Anti-Corruption Foundation an extremist group in 2021.

“Ksenia is wonderful, brave and honest,” wrote Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, on X, previously Twitter. “Ksenia did not commit any crime, she is a brave politician who has been fighting against Putin’s corrupt regime,” learn an announcement from the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Fadeeva, an elected metropolis councilor who gained the election regardless of monumental odds, was arrested in 2021. She was emblematic of Navalny’s — and the opposition’s — potential in Russia’s far-flung areas.

Fadeeva joins a rising listing of former Navalny staffers who’ve been handed lengthy jail sentences for his or her work, together with Lilia Chanysheva from town of Ufa, sentenced to seven-and-a-half years and Vadim Ostanin of Barnaul, serving 9 years.

Meanwhile, in a dramatic verdict, Russian poets Artyom Kamardin and Yegor Shtoyba have been sentenced to seven years and five-and-a-half years respectively on Thursday, after a Moscow courtroom discovered them responsible of calling for motion towards the state.

Prosecutors accused the poets of holding “anti-mobilization” readings, after they have been detained in September 2022 after they publicly criticized Putin’s “partial” mobilization drive via poetry readings in a central Moscow sq. that has traditionally served as a spot for dissident readings and speeches.

Kamardin was reportedly hospitalized following his arrest and alleged that police beat him and raped him with a dumbbell. “What have I done that’s illegal? Read poetry?” mentioned Shtovba in his closing speech in courtroom.

Kamardin, in the meantime, advised the decide: “I fear that neither my physical nor mental health will withstand prolonged imprisonment.”

“My convictions will not change, as they didn’t under torture, they wouldn’t with a real sentence, and they wouldn’t even under the threat of death,” he mentioned.

Kamardin’s spouse, Alexandra Popova, was reportedly dragged from the courtroom after she began chanting “shame” in response to the convictions, and was detained alongside different supporters and journalists.