‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’: Sergei Nevorotin is a political prisoner

13 December 2023

Sergei Nevorotin, a resident of Tver region, has been remanded in custody on charges of making reposts on social media

Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial

The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’, in accordance with international standards, considers Sergei Nevorotin a political prisoner. He is being prosecuted for distributing ‘fake news’ about the army on account of reposts he made of videos on the VK social media site. Nevorotin’s criminal prosecution violates his rights to freedom of expression and fair trial.

We demand the release of Sergei Nevorotin and an end to his criminal prosecution!

What are the charges against Sergei Nevorotin?

Sergei Nevorotin, a powerlifting coach from Bezhetsk inTver region, published a blog on the VK social media website which, while covering various topics, included reposts of videos about the losses of Russian troops in Ukraine and criticism of the military aggression unleashed by Russia. Apparently, one or more of these reposts are the reason for the criminal case against him.

Sergei Nevorotin’s last blog post was published on 9 August 2023. Soon afterwards he was detained on charges of spreading ‘fake news’ about the army (Article 207.3, Part 2 [e], of the Russian Criminal Code) and remanded in custody.

On 24 August 2023 Sergei Nevorotin’s detention was extended. On 30 October 2023 it was reported that his trial was to take place in Bezhetsky inter-district court in Tver region. 

Why do we consider Sergei Nevorotin a political prisoner?

Article 207.3, under which Nevorotin is being prosecuted, was introduced into the Russian Criminal Code immediately after the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine and effectively prohibits any criticism of the Russian authorities or of actions by the military, and therefore violates the right of citizens to freedom of expression. We consider that this article of the Russian Criminal Code contradicts both the Russian Constitution and Russia’s international obligations, as well as fundamental principles of law, in particular, the principle of legal certainty. Under Article 207.3, a citizen cannot predict what statements or information may be considered as ‘fake news’ in a particular context. Moreover, it is impossible to establish intentionality, in terms of the ‘knowing’ dissemination of false information.

We believe that Article 207.3 of the Russian Criminal Code is incompatible with the rule of law and was created for purposes of political repression of the authorities’ critics and of opponents of the war. Article 207.3 should be repealed.

We do not know exactly with regard to which publications Sergei Nevorotin has been charged, but the very fact of his prosecution under this article allows us to say that he should be released, and the criminal charges against him should be dropped.

A detailed description of the case of Sergei Nevorotin and the position of the Human Rights Project are set out on our website.

Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply the project, ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.

How can you help?

You can write a letter to Sergei Nevorotin at the following address:

In Russian: 171640, Тверская область, г. Кашин, ул. Красная, д. 31, ФКУ СИЗО-2 УФСИН России по Тверской области, Неворотину Сергею Владимировичу, 1966 г. р. 

English Translation: Sergei Vladimirovich Nevorotin (born 1966), Remand Prison No. 2, Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Tver region,  31 Krasnaya Street, Kashin, Tver region, 171640, Russia.

You can also send an electronic letter via the Federal Penitentiary Service-Letter or Zonatelekom.

Please note that letters in languages other than Russian are highly unlikely to reach the recipient.

You can donate to support all political prisoners via our website.

Translated by Rights in Russia

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