Russian veteran of human rights in prison

To request protests against the growing repression against young people, Lev Ponomarev was sentenced to 25 days in prison. Appeals on 7 December.

Moscow

From our correspondent

A veteran of human rights in Moscow, Lev Ponomarev has become a symbol of the growing crackdown by the 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.

His call, in October, defended the young people pursued for "Extremism" after simple political conversations. Two teenage girls were arrested for exchanging critical comments on social networks and, in fast food restaurants in the McDonald's neighborhood, shared vague opinions against the Vladimir Putin Kremlin.

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 Ponomarev 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.

"The arrest of Lev Ponomarev is not too surprising, reacts for The cross Oleg Orlov, 65, President of Memorial, the leading Russian human rights organization. In Russia, today, 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. " Invited Amnesty International Wednesday (December 5) "Release immediately and unconditionally" Lev Ponomarev, "One of the pillars of the human rights movement in Russia".

Benjamin Quénelle

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