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Russian Anti-War Activist’s Son Held in ‘Prison Conditions’ in Juvenile Detention

Natalia Filonova during detention at a rally against mobilization. Social media

A jailed Russian anti-war activist’s teenage son is being kept in “prison conditions” in juvenile detention away from the rest of his family, media reported Tuesday.

Natalia Filonova, 61, is awaiting trial in the Far East republic of Buryatia on charges of assaulting police with a ballpoint pen. Filonova’s preliminary hearing was scheduled to be held Tuesday.

Filonova’s adult children took in her adopted son Vladimir Alaykin, 16, when she was placed in pre-trial detention in November, her friend and fellow activist Nadezhda Nizovkina told Russia’s independent news site Holod.

But child services soon took Alaykin, who has a disability, into juvenile detention and have not returned him to his family since December.

“There wasn’t even a formal reason,” Nizovkina said.

“He’s there in de-facto prison conditions, clearly not commensurate with his status as a child whose rights the state is supposedly trying to protect.”

Nizovkina published an audio recording at Alaykin’s request in March showing the orphanage director turning down his request to attend Filonova’s court hearing and subjecting him to “ideological and political” pressure.

Filonova is accused of striking a police officer with a ballpoint pen at an anti-mobilization rally last fall.

Alaykin’s case resembles that of Maria Moskaleva, whose father was detained on criminal charges of “discrediting” the Russian military after she drew an anti-war picture in school.

After spending days in juvenile detention, 13-year-old Moskaleva was in early April handed over to her estranged mother who had initially refused to take her in.

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