RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Kruspe has issued a statement expressing support for an ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny who was jailed for reposting one of the band’s music videos on social media.
As Amnesty International reported, environmental activist Andrei Borovikov could be sentenced to up to three years in a high security penal colony for “production and distribution of p*rnography” after posting RAMMSTEIN’s video on Russian social network VKontake.
Borovikov shared the clip in 2014, but as Amnesty claims, he is being belatedly charged because he worked as campaign manager for jailed Vladimir Putin opponent Alexei Navalny.
“I very much regret that Andrei Borovikov has been sentenced to imprisonment for this. The harshness of the sentence is shocking,” RAMMSTEIN guitarist Richard Kruspe said in an Instagram post. “RAMMSTEIN has always stood up for the freedom of art as guaranteed basic right of all people.”
“The case against Andrei Borovikov is utterly absurd. It is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director said.
Amnesty claim that a “former volunteer” in Borovikov’s office informed the police, after secretly recording a conversation with the activist about the video. They say that the volunteer was planted by the authorities in order to fabricate a case against Borikov.
Amnesty say that prosecutors subsequently ordered a “a sexological and cultural examination” of the P*ssy video, finding it to be of “p*rnographic nature” and “not containing artistic value.”
Natalia Zviagina added: “The prosecution of Andrei Borovikov is a mockery of justice, and we call for all charges against him to be dropped. The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiralling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.”