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Russian court rejects prison officials’ petition to jail Doxa editors who missed curfew because of their own wedding
A Russian court has rejected a petition from the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) to transfer student journalists Alla Gutnikova and Vladimir Metelkin to a remand prison.
The two editors from the student journal Doxa have been under pre-trial restrictions since April, and are only allowed to leave their homes for two hours per day (between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.).
Prison officials sought to replace these preventive measures with pre-trial detention on the grounds that Gutnikova and Metelkin “returned home 18 minutes late on December 13,” reports Doxa. That day, the two Doxa editors were attending their own double wedding — Alla Gutnikova married Daniil Vasiliev, and Vladimir Metelkin married Alexandra Gulyaeva.
The prosecutor maintained that the penitentiary service’s petition unlawful, noting that the violation was a one-off and there was only a slight delay because of the wedding. In turn, the court rejected the petition to jail Gutnikova and Metelkin, leaving in place the non-custodial measures of restraint they have been under since the spring.
Alla Gutnikova and Vladimir Metelkin, as well as two other Doxa journalists — Armen Aramyan and Natalya Tyshkevich — are facing felony charges for allegedly involving minors in illegal protests. In April, they were all placed under de facto house arrest pending trial and banned from using communication devices, or communicating with anyone except their lawyers and close relatives. A Moscow court later eased the preventive measures against them slightly, allowing them to leave their homes for two hours per day.
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