note: while The Guardian here publishes good info (see below) on ‘the Network’, they have also, for example, led the news slanders and smears sabotaging the defence of Julian Assange against the US state and CIA, an issue that prejudices free reporting worldwide. Although this news below appears correct and the comrades need support it also comes just at the height of Anti Russian war hysteria in the UK, openly fanned and financed by the Tory Government and not opposed by The Guardian.
A Russian court has issued harsh sentences to seven antifascist and anarchist activists in a controversial domestic terrorism case marred by claims that investigators tortured the defendants to elicit confessions.
The court in Penza, a city about 390 miles (630km) south-east of Moscow, sentenced the men to terms of six to 18 years in penal colonies for allegedly forming an organisation called Set, which translates as the Network, which prosecutors said planned to carry out future attacks inside Russia to overthrow the government. The men were also charged with an assortment of weapons and drugs charges.
Influential human rights groups have called the case fabricated and said the men may have been targeted for their political activism. Four of the men on trial said they had been tortured with beatings and electrocution during the investigation. In December, Memorial human rights centre, one of Russia’s oldest civil rights organisations, had called for the charges to be dropped.
“It is obvious that the prosecution of the antifascist activists in Penza, part of ongoing repressive measures against anarchists and antifascists that sharply increased in 2017–2018, is politically motivated,” the organisation wrote.
On Monday, supporters of the men shouted “shame” at the Penza courthouse where the verdicts were delivered. The prominent (neo.nazi..ed) opposition figure Alexei Navalny called the sentences “horrific.”
Oleg Orlov of Memorial said: “This is a monstrously harsh verdict, but we didn’t expect anything else.”
The prosecution accused the men of allegedly planning attacks, but gave little concrete detail about when or where they would take place. Investigators originally claimed that the men planned to target the 2018 World Cup or the presidential elections, but those charges were not reflected in the final criminal case.
The men had played airsoft together, an activity which the prosecution said was training for attacks. In 2019, the Network was named an extremist organisation, alongside groups like Islamic State.
“Even if these guys really did discuss a future revolution … crime starts when people make a particular plan, and they were not accused of making any certain plan,” said Alexander Verkhovsky, the director of Moscow’s Sova centre, which monitors extremism and the government’s countermeasures in Russia.
Four of the defendants said that they had been tortured during the investigation, accusing members of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of resorting to beatings and the use of electrocution to garner confessions.
Dmitry Pchelintsev, 27, an antifascist activist from Penza, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly creating the Network. He and his co-defendants have denied the group ever existed.
In testimony to his lawyer, Pchelintsev said that he admitted to planning terrorist attacks after being detained and tortured with electricity by security officers. He described clenching his teeth from the pain and his mouth being “full of blood”.
“They started to take off my underwear, I was lying face down, they tried to connect the wires to my genitals,” he said in remarks published by MediaZona. “I started to scream and beg them to stop torturing me. They started saying: ‘You are the leader.’ To stop the torture, I said: ‘I am the leader.’”
Как не стать террористом
- Новости, Анархический Чёрный Крест
- Беспредел власти, Видео, Отчёты о мероприятиях, Правозащита, Тюрьмы
- Case of anti-fascists of St. Petersburg and Penza
- ФСБ Deutsch Русский
Russia: Teenager gets five years for flyers and Minecraft chat
Feb 13th https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/0…..
On February 10th a military court sentenced three 16-year-old activists from Kansk in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, southern Russia. Nikita Uvarov, who was named as leader of the group during the investigation, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 30,000 rubles (about £287).
Two other defendants (Denis Mikhailenko and Bohdan Andreyev) were acquitted because, according to lawyers, they cooperated with investigators. The allegations were based on sections on terrorism (production of explosives and training in terrorist acts).
The boys were arrested in the summer of 2020, when they were 14 years old, after leaflets criticising the government and in support of political prisoners appeared in Kanska, including on Federal Security Service (FSB) building. The leaflets named anarchists and anti-fascists convicted in the Network and Azata Miftachov cases.
The police used conversation by the boys on social networks as evidence towards their allegations of “terrorism training”, where they discussed anarchism or the “firing” of the FSB building while playing Minecraft together. In addition, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov declared in June 2021 that terrorists were recruiting young people in networked game hubs and creating “gamefied situations of terrorist attacks.”
Nikita Uvarov denied the accusations, while the other two at first confessed and testified against Uvarov, but later withdrew their statements. Uvarov spent 11 months in custody and completed his school year after his release in May 2021. Mikhailovko was in custody for about ten months while Andreyev was placed under house arrest. From August 2021, both were banned from specific related activities. Andreyev was allowed to use the internet and go to school while Mikhailovko continued to be banned from going online.
In his closing remarks in court, Nikita Uvarov said that if he was sentenced to imprisonment, he would serve his sentence “with a clear conscience and with dignity.”
“I will be calm because I never taught my friends anything bad, I was not their leader, we were equal and we just became friends. I did not testify against anyone … I did not plan to assassinate anyone, I am not a terrorist … I would like to finish school and go somewhere far away,” he said.
Nikita Uvarov can be supported as follows:
- Bitcoin: bc1qdpffwd9rwghfsr497fm0mf60jyf5exvsm27q7a
- Money can also be sent via ABC-Moscow, stating the name of the convict, or the entire case – “Kansk case”.