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Russia Eases Punishment for Activist Over Putin Mannequin – Is Putin Stepping Down?

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Russia Eases Punishment for Activist Over Putin Mannequin

Russian Activist Imprisoned In Putin Effigy Case Released After Court Suspends Sentence.

A Russian court on Thursday eased a two-year prison punishment handed to an activist who presented a mannequin consuming a mask of President Vladimir Putin.

Alexander Shabarchin and Danila Vasilyev were captured in 2018 after they recorded a mannequin wearing the mask and a prisoner’s equipment to a lamp post in the Urals city of Perm. 

They then filmed the reactions of passers-by and uploaded the video on Youtube.

In August, Shabarchin, 22, was jailed to two years for hooliganism, while Vasilyev got a one-year suspended punishment.

Following a petition the Perm regional court on Thursday overcame Shabarchin’s sentence, giving him a two-year suspended sentence, court spokeswoman Alyona Popova said AFP.

Vasilyev’s punishment was left unchanged.

Russia’s top rights group Memorial described Shabarchin as a “political prisoner.”

Amnesty International told last month that Shabarchin should be released and Vasilyev’s sentence quashed.

The stunt “falls within the scope of the right to freedom of expression, which Russia has pledged to uphold as a party to the global International human rights treaties,” said Natalia Prilutskaya, Amnesty International’s Russia researcher. 

© Agence France-Presse

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