Moscow Sentences Two To Prison For Reading Poetry

Two men were given lengthy jail terms by a Moscow court for their roles in last year’s anti-mobilization rally, which included reciting a poem against the Ukraine campaign. For delivering words, 33-year-old Artyom Kamardin got a seven-year term, while 23-year-old Yegor Shtovba got five and a half years for going to the demonstration. On charges of “inciting hate” and “calling for acts harming state security,” both defendants were found guilty.

While in custody, Kamardin said that police officers assaulted him and coerced him into making an apologetic video while threatening his partner. Additionally, he yelled out derogatory chants in opposition to the imperial “New Russia” initiative, which seeks to seize the southern region of Ukraine. He said he was not a hero since he had never intended to go to jail for her political views. The poets’ parents, spouses, and some twenty friends rallied behind them in opposition to the prosecution.

Kamardin’s wife, Alexandra Popova, was shocked by the severe punishment. She said when Kamardin was arrested, she was threatened by the police with gang rape. They also put super glue in her mouth.

In May of last year, after a pre-trial agreement, Nikolai Dayneko—also detained at the same time—was sentenced to four years in jail. Russians who opposed the attack have been subject to harsh penalties, which opponents have called ludicrous. Germany’s foreign minister accused Russian officials of “letting the court strangle freedom of speech” in response to Thursday’s ruling.

Judge Oksana Demiasheva gave artist Aleksandra Skochilenko a seven-year jail term in mid-November for replacing price tags for slogans and messages denouncing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine in prominent department stores. In contrast to the trials of well-known critics, the trials of average Russians tend to go unnoticed by the public. Even Alexei Navalny, one of Russia’s most prominent opposition politicians, has either left the nation or is in prison.