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Siberian Teen Jailed 3.5 Years for Anti-War Posts, Graffiti

Lyubov Lizunova. Social media

A teenager from the Siberian city of Chita has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for anti-war graffiti and social media posts, a Russian court said Thursday.

Russian media said this was the first time a minor was imprisoned for their anti-war views.

Tenth-grader Lyubov Lizunova, 17, was detained alongside Alexander Snezhkov, 19, and Vladislav Vishnevsky, 23, in October 2022, months after Russia invaded Ukraine. Lizunova, who describes herself as an anarchist, was 15 years old at the time.

They were initially accused of spray-painting the phrase “Death to the regime!” on the side of a garage and, later, of running anti-war and animal rights channels on the Telegram messaging app.

Lizunova and Snezhkov were placed on state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring's registry of terrorists and extremists, which allows the authorities to freeze their accounts without a court order.

The First Eastern Military Garrison Court said Thursday it found Lizunova guilty on two charges of calling for terrorism and extremism. She was handed three years and six months in a youth detention center and a three-year ban on using the internet.

The judge dropped the vandalism charges against Lizunova due to the expired statute of limitations, the legal aid group Setevye Svobody (Net Freedoms Project) said Thursday.

Snezhkov was convicted on all three charges and handed six years in prison. Vishnevsky was sentenced to one year and six months of penal labor on charges of aiding and abetting calls for extremism and vandalism.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Lizunova to five years in prison, according to Net Freedoms.

The court said their sentences can be appealed before entering into force.

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