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Russia: Artist sentenced to three years in prison for alleged assault on a police officer

16 September 2021
Image: Flag of Russia

 

Oktyabrsky District Court of Saint Petersburg sentenced visual artist Ilya Pershin on 6 September 2021 to three years in prison over the alleged attack on a riot police officer during the protest in support of Alexei Navalny on 31 January 2021, reported Kommersant.

Pershin was arrested on 17 February 2021 and has been in custody ever since. He was sentenced over “using violence against a representative of the authorities” under part 1 of Article 318 of the Criminal Code.

According to Media Zone, the artist is accused of elbowing a riot police officer in the chest and kicking him below his knee when the police officer attempted to detain him. Pershin did not admit guilt during the trial and stated that he attended the protest as an artist to “study the anatomy of people”.

Witnesses claimed that the police officer fell on his own when chasing a group of people. Video surveillance footage presented during the trial showed that Pershin was near the injured police officer, but the alleged attack could not be seen.

Freemuse’s research documented that there were 82 artists known to be imprisoned in 2020 in 20 countries. Six artists were imprisoned in Russia.

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