To call for protests against the growing repression against young people, Lev Ponomariov, a pillar of human rights in Russia, was sentenced to 25 days behind bars.
A veteran of human rights in Moscow, Lev Ponomariov has become a symbol of the growing crackdown of authorities on all forms of protest in Russia. The 77-year-old director of the human rights movement was sentenced on Wednesday (December 5) to 25 days in prison for asking for protests.
Young Kremlin critics imprisoned for "extremism"
His appeal in October defended the young people pursued for "extremism" after simple political discussions. Two teenage girls were arrested for exchanging critical comments on social networks and, in the McDonalds neighborhood, shared vague opinions against the Vladimir Putin Kremlin.
"Our generation does not trust anyone"
The case aroused indignation in liberal circles, restricted, especially because the young informants who infiltrated these discussions were actually working for the FSB security services.
"They take revenge on me because I'm fighting the FSB", indignant Lev Ponomariov after his sentence. For months, he protested against what he calls a growing repression for young people – aged 15 to 25 – in Russia. The latter, especially during protests by opposition leader Alexei Navalny, are regularly arrested, tried, sentenced to one or two weeks in prison for having called and taken part in these unauthorized rallies.
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"The arrest of Lev Ponomariov is not too surprising, replied to Oleg Orlov, 65, president of Memorial, the leading Russian human rights organization. Today in Russia we are put in prison for a simple call to protest. But the authorities are not used to attacking the older ones. That's why this arrest is still shocking. The message is clear: nobody is safe.
Amnesty International called Thursday, November 6th "Release immediately and unconditionally" Lev Ponomariov, "One of the pillars of the human rights movement in Russia".
Benjamin Quénelle (in Moscow)