Russian opponent Pivovarov sentenced to four years in prison

The opponent Russian Pivovarov sentenced to four years in prison

Imprisonments of dissident voices have multiplied in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.

In this photo taken in 2020, activist Andrei Pivovarov addresses journalists during a demonstration in Pushkinskaya Square, in Moscow (Archives).

Russian opponent Andrei Pivovarov was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday, more than a year after his arrest, a judicial steamroller that has taken away the very last figures of the Russian opposition in recent weeks.

Mr. Pivovarov was sentenced, on the basis of Facebook posts, for having been active in a banned organization. sociopolitical activities for a period of eight years, wrote his team on the Twitter account in his name.

After examining the documents in the file, examining the numerous admissible pieces of evidence presented by the parties, the court came to the conclusion that the guilt of the accused was proven, said the press service of the court, quoted by TASS.

Speaking from his metal cage in court, Mr Pivovarov reiterated that change in Russia will come, sooner or later.

And though now those who champion the future are trampled on and imprisoned, I know that progress cannot be stopped, changes for the better are inevitable and they are not far off, he said.

We will get out of it!, he launched, affirming that his condemnation had a political character. His lawyer Sergei Badamshin said they would appeal.

The unfair prosecution and cruel prison sentence imposed on Pivovarov is part of a campaign by Russian authorities to use the Criminal Code against anyone who dares exercise their right to freedom of expression, reacted Marie Struthers, the Director of Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Today's verdict and the criminal article from which it stems are shameful, she added.

On May 31, 2021, the security forces had extricated Mr. Pivovarov from a plane ready to take off from Saint Petersburg to Warsaw.

A few days earlier , he had announced the self-dissolution of his organization Otkritaïa Rossia (Open Russia), linked to the ex-oligarch and exiled opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who himself had spent years in prison in Russia.

Mr. Pivovarov had announced that he was disbanding his movement because he expected it to be classified as undesirable, which exposed activists, members and employees to legal action. After his arrest, he was transferred to a prison in the south of Russia, in Krasnodar, where he was tried.

This case against me is pure revenge because of my opinions, my political activities, said the 40-year-old opponent on the last day of his trial, July 11, denouncing the political prosecution of critics of Vladimir Putin.

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“[I have] no doubt, in the end, that Russia will be free. Even if it's a long way. »

— Andrei Pivovarov, imprisoned Russian opponent

From his cell, he campaigned in the September 2021 legislative elections, with the slogan stronger than fear, his team introducing him as the handcuffed candidate.

His arrest came amid a wave of repression targeting opposition organizations as the legislative elections approached. Shortly after his imprisonment, all the structures of the number 1 opponent in the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, were banned for extremism.

Mr. Navalny was already in prison, and many of his executives subsequently chose exile in the face of the multiplication of legal actions against them.

This repression s& #x27;has been further accentuated since February 24, when Vladimir Putin's Russia launched its offensive against Ukraine.

Soon, heavy prison sentences were instituted for any criticism of the Russian military. In the aftermath, renowned opponents and ordinary citizens were arrested and imprisoned for denouncing the Russian assault on its neighbor or abuses by Russian forces.

Ilia Iachine

Opponents Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Mourza, but also ordinary citizens, have already been imprisoned on such grounds pending trial.

A Muscovite elected official , Alexei Gorinov, was sentenced to seven years in prison last week for denouncing the assault on Ukraine.

The biggest social networks and a a host of Russian and foreign media were also blocked in Russia.

On Friday again, the Russian authorities classified the Bellingcat and The Insider investigation sites as undesirable, judging that ;they posed a threat to the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation.

These sites had published investigations identifying and accusing Russian agents of the Russian Federation. poisoning of Alexeï Navalny in August 2020. The latter had escaped death and was arrested upon his return, at the beginning of 2021, from convalescence from x27;Germany.

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