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Prosecutors Ask Court to Fine, Not Jail Pavlensky for Burned FSB Doors

Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky

Prosecutors have asked for extreme performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky to be fined 1.5 million rubles ($23,000) for setting fire to the doors of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

The proposed fine originally stood at two million rubles ($30,000), but was reduced due to Pavlensky’s good character references and because he has a family with young children, the Mediazona website reported.

Pavlensky is currently standing trial for his latest action “Threat: The Burning Doors of Lubyanka ” on Nov. 9, 2015. During the stunt, which was described by Pavlensky as a protest against repressive government policies, he set on fire the wooden doors of FSB headquarters on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad. The building has been used by the FSB since the Soviet era and the doors are considered to have “cultural value,” the court was told.

Pavlensky has been held in pre-trial detention since his protest and stands accused of damaging Russia’s historical heritage. He has repeatedly asked for his case to be reclassified as terrorism, but the court has so far refused his requests.

The court will announce its verdict on Wednesday at 11.30 a.m.

The FSB have also filed a lawsuit against Pavlensky demanding 481,000 rubles ($7,500) as compensation for the damaged doors.

Pavlensky’s lawyer Olga Dinze has maintained her client’s innocence throughout the proceedings, the RIA Novosti news website reported.

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