A member of German metal band Rammstein has expressed support for an ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny who was jailed for reposting one of the band’s music videos on social media.
Andrei Borovikov, the former coordinator of Navalny's Arkhangelsk headquarters in northern Russia, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison Thursday on charges of distributing pornography online. The charges stem from a 2014 post on Russian social networking site VKontakte, where he reposted Rammstein’s racy clip for the song “Pussy.”
“I very much regret that Andrei Borovikov has been sentenced to imprisonment for this. The harshness of the sentence is shocking,” Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe said in an Instagram post.
Kruspe is the first Rammstein member to speak out on Borovikov’s case.
“Rammstein has always stood up for the freedom of art as guaranteed basic right of all people,” he added.
Borovikov was jailed as a Moscow court deliberates a request to designate Navalny's regional network and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as extremist, a move that would ban them from operating and put members and supporters at risk of prison time.
Amnesty International has condemned the Arkhangelsk region court’s ruling, saying "it is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste."