A Russian court has ordered the release of a popular rapper sentenced last week to 12 days in jail for performing on the roof of a car after the authorities raided a venue where he was due to perform.
Dmitry Kuznetsov, 25, who performs under the stage name Husky, was given administrative sentences last week for petty hooliganism and refusing a drug and alcohol exam. Activists decried his detention as the latest expression of censorship against independent Russian artists.
A Krasnodar district court ruled to satisfy the defendant’s appeal and immediately release the rapper from custody, according to an order posted on Facebook by the artist's attorney Alexei Avanesyan on Monday.
The ruling came hours before three other famous Russian rappers were scheduled to hold a concert in support of Husky in Moscow later on Monday.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny attributed the rapper’s swift release to “the Kremlin’s surprise at such unified outrage over Husky’s arrest.”
“They don’t want today’s concert in his support to turn into a manifestation for freedom of speech and creativity, so Husky was urgently released,” he tweeted after the court order was posted.
“That’s why it’s all the more important to turn the concert into a manifestation,” he added.