Two men receive lengthy prison sentences from Moscow court for vocalizing poems.

A Moscow court on Thursday handed down prison sentences to two men for their involvement in an anti-Ukraine war protest. Artyom Kamardin, 33, received a seven-year sentence for reciting a poem, while Yegor Shtovba, 23, was sentenced to five and a half years for attending the protest. The trial took place in a heavily guarded courtroom, with supporters crying out “Shame!” upon hearing the verdict.

Russian authorities have been cracking down on protests against the offensive in Ukraine, resulting in the detention of thousands. Kamardin claimed to have experienced rape and coercion by police officers during his detention. Both men were convicted of “inciting hatred” and “calling for activities threatening state security.”

Kamardin, who recited a poem titled “Kill me, militia man!” on a Moscow square prior to his arrest, maintained that he did not know his actions were against the law and pleaded for mercy in court. After the sentencing, his father expressed outrage, while Kamardin’s wife criticized the harsh sentence for a non-violent crime. Shtovba also maintained his innocence, questioning the legality of reading poetry.

The harsh sentences handed down to these protesters have drawn condemnation, with Germany’s foreign ministry accusing the Kremlin of suppressing freedom of expression. Notably, many high-profile opposition figures in Russia, including Alexei Navalny, are either in prison or have fled the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *