Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Brussels, 9 July 2024

A Russian court sentenced yesterday the director Zhenya Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk, to six years in prison for “justifying terrorism” through their award-winning theatre play “Finist, the Brave Falcon”, which actually speaks against terrorism. This sentence is absurd – as if Dostoyevsky were responsible of a murder by Raskolnikov.

The decision further illustrates the increasing state control over cultural institutions and Russian authorities’ attempt to curtail fundamental freedoms. This is yet another confirmation of Russia’s descent into unbound authoritarianism under Putin.

Artists have the right to freedom of artistic expression. As a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Russia has an obligation to respect the freedom indispensable for creative activity.

The EU stands in solidarity with all those Russians who have dared to raise their voice and criticise Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and who have been detained, prosecuted or imprisoned for this.

Source – EEAS

 

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