Russian doctors write open letter in support of Sasha Skochilenko

Photo: Novaya Gazeta Europe

Photo: Novaya Gazeta Europe

Members of Russia’s medical community have signed an open letter in support of the artist Sasha Skochilenko, who was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday for replacing price tags with anti-war messages in a St. Petersburg supermarket last year.

The letter, while condemning the harsh sentence Skochilenko received in principal, mainly addressed Skochilenko’s chronic illnesses, which the signatories warned would likely further deteriorate were she forced endure seven years' imprisonment in a penal colony.

“In addition to indignation over the obvious injustice of the sentence, we, the medical community, have serious concerns about the state of Sasha’s health. She has been diagnosed with a number of severe chronic diseases that require proper medical supervision and a special dietary regimen,” the letter said.

The doctors also demanded Skochilenko’s immediate release, arguing that to imprison somebody without corpus delicti “seems particularly unfair” amid recent reports of early release and pardons of prisoners found guilty of far more serious crimes, such as rape and murder.

So far, the letter has been signed by over 130 doctors.

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