Russian schoolgirl placed in pretrial detention for ‘death to regime’ graffiti

Lyubov Lizunova. Photo: Social media

Lyubov Lizunova. Photo: Social media

A court in the city of Chita in Russia’s Far East has placed a schoolgirl into pretrial detention, local activist Anastasia Shevchenko said on Wednesday, quoting a letter from another defendant in the case.

Lyubov Lizunova, 17, has been charged with incitement to terrorism and extremist activity. She was first detained in 2022 and placed under house arrest.

Independent media outlet Agentstvo said on Wednesday that the case was the first known incidence of a schoolgirl under the age of 18 being remanded in custody for anti-war statements in Russia.

Lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov told reporters that a minor can only be transferred from house arrest to pretrial detention when there has been a change in circumstances, such as the violation of previously imposed restrictions or new criminal charges.

Lizunova was detained in October 2022 alongside Alexander Snezhkov and Vladislav Vishnevsky after they painted “Death to the regime!” on a garage wall in Chita. In addition to the terrorism and extremism charges, Lizunova and Snezhkov were also charged with vandalism motivated by political hatred. All three were added to the government’s register of terrorists and extremists.

Upon their release, the three had their movements strictly limited. However, local news website Chita.Ru wrote in March 2023 that Snezhkov and Lizunova had been apprehended while attempting to leave the country. Snezhkov was placed in pretrial detention and Lizunova under house arrest.

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