A Russian artist has been jailed for seven years for protesting the war in Ukraine by replacing supermarket price tags with anti-war messages. Alexandra Skochilenko was found guilty of spreading “false information” about the Russian military. She was arrested in March 2022 after she replaced price tags in a supermarket in St. Petersburg with messages that called for an end to the war.
Skochilenko’s lawyer argued that she was simply exercising her right to free speech. However, the judge in the case ruled that her actions had been “a provocation” and that she had “incited hatred and hostility” towards the Russian military.
Skochilenko’s sentencing has been condemned by human rights groups, who say that it is a sign of the growing crackdown on dissent in Russia.
The Committee to Protect Journalists called Skochilenko’s sentence “appalling” and said that it was “a clear attempt to silence any criticism of the war.”
The European Union also condemned Skochilenko’s sentence, saying that it was “a serious violation of her freedom of expression.” The EU called on the Russian authorities to release Skochilenko immediately.
Skochilenko’s case is just one example of the growing intolerance for dissent in Russia. In recent years, the Russian government has cracked down on independent media, opposition groups, and civil society organizations.
Human rights groups say that these measures are an attempt to stifle any criticism of the government and to maintain its grip on power.
The jailing of Alexandra Skochilenko is a reminder of the dangers of speaking out against the Russian government. It is also a symbol of the growing repression of dissent in Russia.