Russian theatre director Evgenia Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk sent to pre-trial jail for two months, charged with ‘justifying terrorism’

‘Experts’ suggest their play ‘contains the destructive ideology of feminism’

A Moscow court has ruled on Friday that theatre director Evgenia Berkovich will stay in a pre-trial jail for two months, a Novaya-Europe correspondent reports.

Berkovich was arrested on Thursday alongside playwright Svetlana Petriychuk. Petriychuk was also arrested by the court for two months.

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

The prosecution had previously demanded that Berkovich and Petriychuk be arrested for two months.

The expert examination of the play, which served as grounds for opening the criminal case, was conducted by Roman Silantyev, the inventor of a pseudoscience known as “destructology”. Meduza has cited excerpts from his analysis.

“The play stresses that Russian society is no better than ISIS as far as mercy is concerned, but [also says] that ISIS presents a culture of heroism, self-sacrifice, men fulfilling their duty, which cannot be found in Russian society,” Silantyev writes.

In his opinion, the play contains elements justifying the Islamic State, which is banned in Russia, because “the author, speaking through the play’s character, assesses the activities of this terrorist organisation and its ideology in an attractive, emotional way.”

“I would like to point out”, Silantyev continues further, “that the ideology of radical feminism, based on the idea that women are inherently oppressed, is far from innocuous. Destructological science has documented instances where the internalisation of this ideology has led to the conscious preparation and execution of terrorist acts.”

Svetlana Petriychuk’s play “Finist, the Brave Falcon” is based on real-life cases of women who went to Syria to marry radical Islamists and were then charged with aiding and abetting terrorism.

Novaya Gazeta has published an open letter in support of the detained women which has already been signed by over 2,000 people.

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