Person of the Week: Aleksandr Shabarchin’s sentence suspended

Week-ending 6 November 2020

Aleksandr Shabarchin, an activist in Perm sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for a satirical video featuring a mannequin of President Putin in prison garb, and who has been declared by Amnesty International to be a prisoner of conscience, has been released and his sentence suspended.

On 26 October 2020 Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty International’s Russia Researcher, had said in a statement: “Aleksandr Shabarchin is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned solely for the exercise of his right to freedom of expression, and he must be immediately and unconditionally released.”–

RFE/RL reported on Thursday, 5 November 2020: A Russian activist who was imprisoned over a satirical video featuring a mannequin of President Vladimir Putin has been released after a court suspended his sentence. Aleksandr Shabarchin was released from custody after the Perm Krai regional court’s decision was announced on November 5. Shabarchin, who took part in the hearing via a video link from a detention center, reiterated that he considers himself not guilty, adding that freedom of expression is not banned in Russia. Shabarchin and two other men, Danil Vasilyev and Aleksandr Etkin, aka Kotov, were arrested in January 2019 and charged with disrupting social order by placing an effigy of Putin at Perm’s central Lenin Street in November 2018.

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