HomeWorldRussia jails artist for 7 years over Ukraine supermarket protest

Russia jails artist for 7 years over Ukraine supermarket protest


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Published November 16,2023


Russia sentenced artist Alexandra Skochilenko to seven years in jail on Thursday for spreading disinformation concerning the military after she swapped grocery store worth tags with slogans criticising Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.

The 33-year-old, who goes by Sasha, is simply the newest amongst hundreds of Russians who’ve been detained, jailed or fined for talking out in opposition to Moscow’s large-scale army intervention.

Her supporters within the courtroom shouted “shame” and “we’re with you Sasha” after the decide Oksana Demiasheva learn out the decision, an AFP journalist on the sentencing reported.

Skochilenko wore a vibrant T-shirt with a big purple coronary heart printed on it, and he or she made a coronary heart form along with her arms and smiled to supporters in the course of the listening to.

“Every person in this room wants only one thing: Peace. Why fight?” she stated in a closing assertion.


Skochilenko was detained in April final 12 months across the identical time as Russia’s brutal siege of Ukraine’s port metropolis of Mariupol.

Skochilenko, who’s brazenly homosexual, has additionally stated that “hatred towards minorities” in deeply conservative Russia might assist clarify the trial in opposition to her.

“It’s not Sasha who should go to prison, but the people who convicted her,” 20-year-old Anton, who declined to present his full title citing safety considerations, advised AFP after the decision was introduced.

Boris Vishnevsky, a politician linked to the opposition Yabloko social gathering described the ruling to AFP as a “reprisal”.

“Hopefully someday the pendulum will turn the other way,” he added.

Skochilenko had stated in an earlier listening to that she “just wanted to stop the war. That was my motivation”.

On March 31 final 12 months, Skochilenko changed 5 worth tags in a department of one in all Russia’s largest grocery store chains in Saint Petersburg.

One of the messages included claims a few Russian strike on a theatre in Mariupol that was reported to have left lots of lifeless.

“The cost of this war is the life of our children” and “Putin has been lying to us from television screens for 20 years” have been written on different tags.

An aged shopper reported the swapped tags to the police.

Human rights group Memorial — now banned in Russia — stated police spent 10 days interrogating grocery store employees and inspecting safety digital camera footage earlier than arresting Skochilenko in her house.


“How weak is our prosecutor’s faith in our state and society if he thinks our statehood and public safety can be ruined by five little pieces of paper?” Skochilenko stated in court docket.

She has admitted to swapping the tags, however the textual content written on them was false.

“Everyone sees and knows that you are not judging a terrorist. You’re not trying an extremist. You’re not even trying a political activist. You’re judging a pacifist,” she stated.

Skochilenko’s supporters, who depend amongst them exiled Russian artists and opposition activists, have stated the trial is absurd.

She suffers from well being points — together with coeliac illness and a congenital coronary heart defect. Her mom just lately advised AFP {that a} lengthy jail time period could be a “catastrophe”.

An illustrator and musician, Skochilenko joined avenue protests in Russia within the first days of Moscow’s offensive.

One of her illustrations in opposition to the intervention depicted stickmen hugging, painted within the colors of the Russian and Ukrainian flags.

Memorial has designated Skochilenko a political prisoner and has launched a marketing campaign calling for her launch.

Most of Russia’s high-profile opposition figures have fled the nation or are behind bars, together with Alexei Navalny.

Source: www.anews.com.tr

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