Russian opponent jailed for sharing Rammstein clip

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Saint Petersburg | Russian justice on Thursday sentenced to two and a half years in prison an opposition activist accused of disseminating “pornography” by sharing a clip of the German metal group Rammstein, said his lawyer.

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Andrei Borovikov, 32, a former head of the office of Alexey Navalny’s opponent in Arkhanguelsk, was sentenced behind closed doors by the Lomonosovsky court in this city in northwest Russia.

His lawyer, Andrei Kytchine, told AFP that Mr. Borovikov, who denounces political prosecutions, was going to appeal.

The latter had shared in 2014 on the social network VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, the clip for the song “Pussy” (2009) by Rammstein.

Russian opponent jailed for sharing Rammstein clip

One of the versions of this video, uncensored, shows real sex scenes parodying pornographic films and interspersed with images of the singer of the group pretending to give a political speech.

Andrei Borovikov has since deleted the video and it is not known which version he released.

An investigation was opened against him last September for “dissemination of pornography on the Internet”. The prosecution had requested three years in prison.

In a statement, the NGO Amnesty International on Wednesday described the case as “absolutely absurd” and considered that Mr. Borovikov was “only punished for his activism and not for his musical tastes”.

This condemnation comes at a time when the regional offices of Alexeï Navalny in Russia announced their self-dissolution in the face of the threat of being declared “extremists”.

Russian opponent jailed for sharing Rammstein clip

Mr. Navalny, 44, has been in prison since mid-January. He was arrested on his return from Germany where he had spent nearly five months recovering from a poisoning he accuses the Kremlin of.

The authorities have since stepped up pressure on his supporters. Almost all of his collaborators have been placed under house arrest or given short prison terms, and several have left Russia.

A Russian LGBT activist is also currently on trial in the Far East for “spreading pornography”. According to her supporters, Yulia Tsvetkova, 27, is being prosecuted for having published feminist cartoons on the internet showing naked or naked women.