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Russian anarchists sentenced to one year and nine months behind bars for banner ‘FSB is the biggest terrorist’

The Russian city of Chelyabinsk's district court has sentenced anarchists Dmitry Tsibukovsky and Anastasia Safonova, his wife, to one year and nine months of penal colony each in regards to the case on displaying a banner stating “FSB is the biggest terrorist” on the territory of the Federal Security Service (FSB) building, reports head of the Agora human rights group Pavel Chikov.

The prosecutor previously asked for 5 years for each. The defendants were accused of hooliganism on the basis of political hatred.

According to the prosecution, on the night of 15 February 2018, the activists hang up the aforementioned banner stating “FSB is the biggest terrorist” on the fence of the territory locating the Chelyabinsk region FSB Directorate building. The prosecution claims that Tsibukovsky also lit up a flare and threw it across the fence.

Photo: Social media

Photo: Social media

Tsibukovsky and Safonova were also accused of vandalism — they allegedly put up drawings with messages against the pension reform on a transformer box and office container, however, the statute of limitations for criminal responsibility under this article has already expired.

The case against the anarchists was dismissed twice due to lack of evidence but then reopened later on.

Initially, the activists were placed in a pre-trial detention centre, later they were put under house arrest. In November 2020, their measure of restraint was changed to prohibition of certain actions. A year later, the court cancelled its previous ruling, according to which Tsibukovsky had been sentenced to two and a half years and Safonova to two years of penal colony. Soon after, the case was remanded for a new trial.

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