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27 Mar, 2024 17:04

Pussy Riot member convicted for ‘fake news’

Lyusya Stein has been sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for discrediting the Russian army
Pussy Riot member convicted for ‘fake news’

A member of the anarchist punk group Pussy Riot, Lyusya Stein, has been sentenced in absentia to over six years in prison for spreading fake news about the Russian army, according to a verdict handed down by Moscow’s Basmanny District Court on Wednesday.

In addition to having to serve “six years and 15 days” in a general population correctional colony, Stein is also to be barred from administering websites or posting anything on the internet or other “information and telecommunication networks” for a period of 3.5 years, the court ruled.

State prosecutors, who demanded 8.5 years in prison for the activist, noted that Stein’s term includes the time she has yet to serve under a previous conviction from August 2021. The sentence will come into force as soon as she is extradited to Russia or is detained on Russian territory.

Stein is believed to have left Russia in April 2022 together with another member of Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, after they were sentenced to one year in prison for taking part in protests in violation of coronavirus restrictions.

The latest case against Stein was opened in 2022, charging her with discrediting the Russian army online. At the time, she was placed on the national wanted list. In November 2023, the Basmanny court ‘arrested her in absentia’ for two months and she was placed on the international wanted list.

In August 2022, Stein was arrested in Switzerland along with several other members of Pussy Riot for trying to spray paint graffiti on a wall in the town of Koeniz. They were eventually released and slapped with a $400 fine. The group left vowing to “spread our message to other countries,” and stated they were willing to “face further arrests” if needed.

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