Support for Alexei Navalny jailed for sharing a clip from the metal band Rammstein

Till Lindemann, lead singer of German industrial metal band Rammstein, in March 2010. – PLAVEVSKI ALEKSANDAR / SIPA

The case seems implausible. Russian justice on Thursday sentenced to two and a half years in prison an opposition activist accused of disseminating “pornography” by sharing a clip from the German metal group Rammstein. Andrei Borovikov, 32, a former head of the office of Alexey Navalny’s opponent in Arkhanguelsk, was sentenced behind closed doors by the Lomonosovsky court in this city in northwestern Russia.

This one had shared in 2014 on the social network VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, the music video Pussy (2009) by Rammstein. One of the versions of this video, uncensored, shows real sex scenes parodying pornographic films and interspersed with images of the singer of the group pretending to give a political speech.

“Punished for his activism and not for his musical tastes”

His lawyer, Andrei Kytchine, specified that Alexeï Borovikov, who denounces political prosecutions, was going to appeal. In a statement, the NGO Amnesty International described the case as “absolutely absurd” and considered that Alexey Borovikov was “only punished for his activism and not for his musical tastes”.

This condemnation comes at a time when the regional offices of Alexeï Navalny in Russia announced their self-dissolution in the face of the threat of being declared “extremists”. Alexeï Navalny, 44, has been in prison since mid-January. He was arrested on his return from Germany where he had spent nearly five months recovering from a poisoning he accuses the Kremlin of.

Pressure on Navalny supporters escalates

The authorities have since stepped up pressure on his supporters. Almost all of his collaborators have been placed under house arrest or given short prison terms, and several have left Russia.

A Russian LGBT activist is also currently on trial in the Far East for “spreading pornography”. According to her supporters, Yulia Tsvetkova, 27, is being prosecuted for having published feminist cartoons on the Internet showing naked or naked women.

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