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State prosecutors request prison terms for activists accused of dressing a Putin mannequin in a prisoner’s uniform

Source: Meduza

State prosecutors in Perm have requested prison terms for the three defendants in a hooliganism case that was opened over a protest action involving a Putin mannequin dressed up in a prisoner’s uniform, reports the Telegram channel “Apologia Protesta.”

For Alexander Shabarchin — an activist from opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s headquarters in Perm, — prosecutors requested three years in a prison colony. For the other two defendants, Alexander Kotov and Danil Vasilyev, they requested two years and one and a half years imprisonment, respectively. 

The three defendants in the case have pleaded not guilty to the hooliganism charges. “In the future, when they ask me why were you in prison? Did you cripple someone? Steal something? I will reply: ‘I was in prison for a piece of plastic,” defendant Danil Vasilyev said in court, as quoted by Apologia Protesta.

In November 2018, a mannequin with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face on it was tied to a pole in downtown Perm. The mannequin was dressed in a prison jumpsuit and had signs taped to it that read “Liar” and “War criminal Pynya V.V.” (the word “pynya” references a Russian meme that’s become associated with Putin).

A photo of the Putin mannequin posted on social media in 2018

That December, posters with Putin’s image and New Year’s “greetings” were hung around the city. The posters said that a later retirement age and increased taxes were awaiting Russian citizens in the New Year. The authorities opened a criminal case in response to the two actions in January 2019.

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