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Russian Activist Accused of Hooliganism After Slitting Wrists in Protest, Party Says

Olga Shalina (Drugaya Rossia / Vkontakte)

Olga Shalina, an activist from the far-left Other Russia political party, has reportedly been charged with hooliganism over a graphic demonstration in which she slashed her wrists to protest torture in Russian prisons.

Shalina was hospitalized following her one-person protest last Thursday at a military-police equipment exhibition in Moscow, where she read slogans atop a police van before slitting her wrists. Dozens of abuse cases have been uncovered in Russian prisons over the past year after a leaked video of torture sparked a nationwide investigation of correctional facilities.

According to a statement published on Monday by Open Russia, Shalina has been charged over her protest with hooliganism — which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Other Russia is an unregistered Russian political party established in July 2010 by writer and opposition activist Eduard Limonov.

The party describes itself as a “nationalist-bolshevik party,” combining elements of both far-left and far-right ideologies.

Olga Shalina is a member of the executive committee of the party and is the head of its Moscow branch. She is in hospital but her life is not in danger after the protest, Other Russia reported.

Update: Prosecutors have cancelled the decision to charge Shalina with hooliganism, her lawyer, Sergei Badamshin, was cited as saying on Tuesday by the Pravozashita Otkritki movement — the human rights branch of Open Russia. Badamshin later tweeted that Shalina had been released from the hospital.

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