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Russia: Pussy Riot member sentenced to 15 days in jail for the use of ‘obscene language’

9 July 2020
Pyotr Verzilov sitting on the train tracks
Image: Pyotr Verzilov / petyaverzilov on Instagram

 

22 June: Pussy Riot member Peter Verzilov (also referred to as Pyotr Verzilov) was detained and sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest by the Meshchansky District Court in Moscow, reported Meduza.

He was sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest because he used “obscene language” when he left a Moscow police station after an interrogation.

Verzilov said that when he was detained from his house on 21 June, police questioned him for 13 hours due to charges of extremism and violence against the authorities during a protest held on 27 July 2019. Pussy Riot, however, said that Verzilov was not in Russia that day. He was in Estonia, having a meeting with the Estonian president.

The video of police officers force entering Verzilov’s house circulates on social media.

Pussy Riot said in their statement that, immediately after Verzilov was released the next day, he was attacked by a “provocateur hired by Putin’s political police.” They further added that this situation was a motivation behind detaining Verzilow for the second time.

Verzilov is also the publisher of the opposition media outlet MediaZona.

https://twitter.com/pussyrrriot/status/1274818839084064769?s=20

In February 2020 thirteen members of the Pussy Riot were released from detention after being arrested during the photoshoot of a new video about LGBTI issues. Freemuse in its State of Artistic Freedom 2020 report highlights that Pussy Riot have been targeted because of their activism, which focuses on criticising state policies under President Vladimir Putin and the state’s connections with the Orthodox Church. They have also been vocal against the law on “anti-homosexual propaganda” and the suppression of media freedoms in Russia.

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