A Russian court has sentenced a self-described anarchist couple to prison for hanging a banner likening the country’s security services to terrorists, human rights activist and lawyer Pavel Chikov tweeted Friday.
Dmitry Tsibukovsky and his wife Anastasia Safonova were detained in 2018 after hanging a banner that read “The FSB is the main terrorist” on the fence of the Chelyabinsk regional Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters. The act was in support of members of the Set’ (“Network”) anti-fascist activist group who were jailed on terrorism charges that rights groups condemned as fabricated.
The Chelyabinsk Central Court in west-central Russia found the two guilty of hooliganism based on political hatred and enmity, sentencing Tsibukovsky to 2.5 years in prison and Safonova to 2 years, Chikov said, citing the couple's lawyers.
Prosecutors had requested six-year sentences for both activists.
Chikov said defense plans to appeal the verdict.
In 2018, Tsibukovsky told the independent OVD-Info police monitor that he had been beaten and tortured in the regional FSB building.
“In the process, they explained that they wanted to hear me confess to hanging the banner on the FSB building,” he said.
The case had previously been dropped twice for lack of corpus delicti, but was resumed.