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Russia convicts father of sweet sixteen who drew antiwar photos Lalrp

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TALLINN, Estonia — A Russian court docket on Tuesday convicted a single father over social media posts criticizing the conflict in Ukraine and sentenced him to 2 years in jail — a case dropped at the eye of authorities by his daughter’s drawings towards the invasion at college, in line with his lawyer and activists.

The case of Alexei Moskalyov, who was indicted in his hometown of Yefremov, about 300 kilometers (about 186 miles) south of Moscow and an identical distance north of the Ukrainian border, has drawn worldwide consideration and is a grim indication that the Kremlin is intensifying its crackdown on dissent, concentrating on extra individuals and handing out harsher punishments for any expression of criticism of the conflict.

In a twist to the case, the 54-year-old Moskalyov fled home arrest in a single day, court docket officers stated, and wasn’t current for the end result of his trial. He had been carrying a bracelet that tracked his actions however apparently had taken it off.

Moskalyov was accused of repeatedly discrediting the Russian military, a prison offense in accordance to a legislation Russian authorities adopted shortly after sending troops into Ukraine.

He was indicted for a sequence of social media posts about Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine and referencing the “terrorist” regime in Moscow. However, in line with his lawyer and activists who supported him all through the case and trial, his troubles began final spring after his 13-year-old daughter, Maria, drew an antiwar image at college that depicted missiles flying over a Russian flag at a girl and youngster and stated, “Glory to Ukraine.”

In April 2022, Moskalyov was fined for his vital feedback on social media. His residence was raided in December and a prison case was opened towards him this month. He was positioned below home arrest and his daughter was taken away from him and positioned into an orphanage.

On the trial, which concluded in sooner or later Monday, three lecturers and the director of Maria’s faculty testified that they randomly discovered Moskalyov’s “discrediting” social media posts and that Maria’s drawing had nothing to do with the case — contradicting the accounts of his lawyer and different supporters.

Moskalyov rejected the accusations and insisted that he had nothing to do with the social media posts in query.

In a brief closing assertion, Moskalyov stated he was “towards” what the Kremlin insists on calling a “particular army operation.”

“How can one really feel about loss of life, about people who find themselves dying? Adults are dying, kids. … Solely negatively — how else can one really feel a couple of conflict?” he was quoted as saying by Russia’s impartial information website Mediazona.

Moskalyov’s lawyer Vladimir Biliyenko stated afterward that he realized of his shopper’s disappearance on the court docket listening to. Moskalyov was scheduled to look in court docket once more subsequent week at a listening to on a petition to limit his parental rights.

Biliyenko instructed The Related Press the authorities’ petition to limit Moskalev’s parental rights was based mostly solely on his political opinions and the truth that he was being prosecuted for discrediting the military. He stated the authorities alleged this posed a risk to his daughter.

Biliyenko described the prosecution of Moskalyov as “bullying of the household.”

The lawyer visited Maria within the orphanage Tuesday and instructed reporters that whereas he wasn’t capable of see her, native directors allowed him to {photograph} a letter she wrote to her father, which ended with, “Daddy, you’re my hero.”

Olga Podolskaya, a member of Yefremov’s municipal council who has been serving to Moskalyov, instructed AP that father and the daughter clearly love one another, and the choice to take Maria away was politically motivated.

Podolskaya stated the information that Moskalyov escaped home arrest shocked her.

“We’re all actually frightened, together with Alexei’s lawyer,” she instructed AP by telephone after the listening to.

Russian human rights activists observe that the Kremlin has ramped up strain on these disagreeing with the social gathering line. The OVD-Information rights group that tracks political instances and offers authorized support this month has registered a rise in jail sentences for individuals prosecuted for his or her antiwar stance, stated Daria Korolenko, the group’s lawyer and analyst.

“Repressions are choosing up pace,” Korolenko instructed AP in a telephone interview, including that the numbers are anticipated to proceed rising.

Observe AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine