First Andrei Piwowarow was prevented from leaving, now the Kremlin critic has been sentenced to pre-trial detention. But he could face even harsher punishments.
The prominent Kremlin-critical opposition politician Andrei Piwowarow has been sentenced to two months in custody in Russia. A court in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar said on Wednesday that the 39-year-old was being investigated for involvement in an “undesirable organization” in Russia.
Piwowarow, who until recently headed the anti-government group “Open Russia”, was arrested on Monday evening while attempting to travel to Poland on board a plane in St. Petersburg. He faces up to six years in prison.
A few days ago, the group supported by the Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who lived abroad, was declared an “undesirable organization” in Russia and was thus effectively banned. Under pressure from the state, Piwowarow had announced the dissolution. He described the fact that he was arrested as “total lawlessness”. The European Union and the human rights organization Amnesty International are calling for Pivovarov to be released immediately.
Putin opponent Alexej Navalny, imprisoned in the prison camp, also expressed his solidarity with Piwovarow and other arrested opposition members. “These are honest people who are being persecuted for exactly that,” wrote Navalny on Instagram. His spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch called the actions of the Russian judiciary “monstrous” and wished Piwowarow and his family strength.