Dissent is punishable: Russian deputy Alexei Gorinov received 7 years

Deputy Alexei Gorinov was sentenced by the Moscow Municipal Court to 7 years in prison under an article about fakes about the Russian army.

On July 8, the Meshchansky District Court of the Krasnoselsky District found the deputy guilty of disseminating false information about the activities of the Russian Armed Forces using his official position. This is the first real term of imprisonment under the article about fakes. Gorinov’s lawyer Katerina Tertukhina says:

“Today my client received 7 years in a penal colony for his words, for his opinion, for his beliefs.”

A criminal case under article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was initiated after on March 15, at a meeting of the Council of Deputies of the Krasnoselsky District, Alexei Gorinov spoke out against holding a competition for children’s drawings, calling it a “feast during the plague”:

“I believe that this plan is not necessary, because what kind of leisure and entertainment can we talk about when we have all now moved to a qualitatively different way of life, when hostilities are being waged on the territory of a neighboring modern state, our country’s aggression is being carried out? Tell me, please, what kind of children’s drawing competition can we talk about or the organization of dance programs dedicated to Victory Day, when children die every day in our country.For information, I will say that about a hundred children have died in Ukraine.Children become orphans, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the participants World War II are now thrown into the heat of these hostilities on the territory of Ukraine.I believe that all the efforts of civil society should be directed only at stopping the war and withdrawing Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine.Now, if the points of the plans were devoted to these issues, I would love to vote. In this form, I personally will not vote, and then at your discretion. “

Announcing the verdict, the judge stressed that the defendant is guilty of calling the special operation in Ukraine a “war” and talking about the death of children. Aleksey Gorinov pleaded not guilty and used his last word in court to once again condemn the invasion of Ukraine:

“I am convinced of this, war is the fastest means of dehumanization. When the line between good and evil is blurred. It is always death, I do not accept it and reject it.

The news was commented on by the human rights organization Amnesty International. Associate Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Bruce Millar noted:

“The verdict against Alexei Gorinov is simply shocking. This is a wrongful reprisal for expressing his opinion, not administering justice. Alexei Gorinov did not commit any internationally recognized crime, calling the war unleashed by Vladimir Putin against Ukraine for what it is – a criminal war. The Russian judicial system once again sided with the government, which seeks to silence all forms of dissent. The Russian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Alexei Gorinov and all people imprisoned simply for expressing their opinions and speaking out against the war, and also drop all charges against them.”

The second defendant in this case is the head of the municipal district, Elena Kotenochkina, who supported Gorinov at the March meeting. Authorities said Aleksey Gorinov colluded with Kotenochkina, who chaired the meeting, to “discredit” the military, motivated by “political hatred” and “using his official position.” She left Russia and is wanted.

According to Amnesty International, the official investigation into Gorinov’s case took only five days. In total, more than 60 criminal cases under Article 207.3 are currently being investigated in Russia.

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