Russian theatre director Berkovich and playwright Petriychuk detained over ‘justifying terrorism’

Russian authorities opened a criminal case against stage director Evgenia Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk, Mediazona writes citing OVD-Info lawyers Yulia Kuznetsova and Yulia Tregubova.

They are accused of “justifying terrorism” in their award-winning play “Finist, the Brave Falcon”, which tells the story of women who decided to marry radical Islamists and move to Syria and is based on real events.

On Thursday, Berkovich and Petriychuk were arrested and taken in for questioning.

“Zhenya [Berkovich] does not admit her guilt. She [feels] fine.<...> She is worried, of course", Tregubova said. “[Svetlana Petriychuk] does not admit her guilt and claims that in no way does she justify terrorism,” Kuznetsova added.

A court will decide on the pre-trial restrictions for the detainees on Friday afternoon.

The case was opened after a preliminary investigation, the results of which the lawyers were not allowed to access. The Investigative Committee in charge of opening the case had received a document stating that an expert examination had found “elements justifying terrorism” in the text of the play.

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