Anti-War Activist In Russia's Tatarstan Remanded In Custody

By Idel.Realities

KAZAN, Russia -- Activist Andrei Boyarshinov, who was charged with terrorism over his calls for Russia to stop its ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, has been remanded in pretrial detention by the Supreme Court of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan.

Boyarshinov's lawyer, Rim Sabirov, told RFE/RL that the Supreme Court on August 31 rejected his client's appeal of an earlier decision by the Vakhitov district court in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan, to extend the activist's pretrial detention until at least November 17.

Boyarshinov was arrested in March and charged with public calls for terrorism and justifying terrorism.

The charges stem from posts he made on Telegram before and during unsanctioned rallies in Kazan where demonstrators demanded a halt to Russia's war in Ukraine.

The court initially placed Boyarshinov umder house arrest, but after prosecutors appealed the ruling, the pretrial restriction was changed and the activist was sent to a detention center.

Boyarshinov has told RFE/RL that he considers the case against him politically motivated, saying, "I am, and will be, against this war."

Many activists, journalists, and others have left Russia for other countries since Moscow launched a wide-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24.

Days after the sending troops into Ukraine in late February, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that calls for lengthy prison terms for distributing "deliberately false information" about Russian military operations as the Kremlin seeks to control the narrative about its war in Ukraine.

The law envisages sentences of up to 10 years in prison for individuals convicted of an offense, while the penalty for the distribution of "deliberately false information" about the Russian Army that leads to "serious consequences" has a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.

It also makes it illegal "to make calls against the use of Russian troops to protect the interests of Russia" or "for discrediting such use," with a possible penalty of up to three years in prison. The same provision applies to calls for sanctions against Russia.