Russia: Director, Playwright Sentenced to Six Years for “Justifying Terrorism”

Source: US News & World Report

“A Russian court sentenced a playwright and a theatre director each to six years in prison on Monday for ‘justifying terrorism,’ concluding a trial that rights campaigners had said demonstrated Russia’s intolerance of artistic freedom. Director Zhenya Berkovich, 39, and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk, 44, were arrested in May last year over their production of a play called ‘Finist, the Brave Falcon,’ about Russian women who marry Islamic State fighters. The case was the most prominent prosecution of Russian cultural figures over the content of their artwork since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in 2022. Both denied guilt. … At the start of their trial in late May, Berkovich and Petriychuk said they had staged the play because they oppose terrorism rather than support it.” (07/08/24)