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  2. An activist in Samara has been punished for an officially permitted action in memory of victims of political persecution

An activist in Samara has been punished for an officially permitted action in memory of victims of political persecution

Photo of Vladimir Avdonin
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The court sentenced Andrei Zhvakin to 25 hours of compulsory works for installing a cube on the Memory Day of Victims of Political Persecution. The action was previously approved by the local administration. But the police decided that the slogans on the banners did not match the declared theme. Zhvakin's associate Vladimir Avdonin informed "7x7" about the incident on February 1.

The court sentenced a Samara activist, Andrei Zhvakin, to 25 hours of compulsory works for violating the rules for public actions. On October 30, 2022, the man was on a solitary picket that had been approved by the city authorities. Zhvakin set up a large cube with a banner "Eternal memory to victims of political persecution" and another with abbreviated names of Soviet secret services and the words “Terror. Murder. Torture. Repressions." He also spoke about Stalin’s Great Terror and Vladimir Putin.

The police took the posters down and detained the organizer of the action. Zhvakin was accused of displaying banners that did not match the action’s announced theme.

The authorities ordered linguistic expertise of the texts on the posters to answer the question "Does the text on the banners contain a negative assessment of government institutions? In court, Zhvakin said that "condemnation of political reprisals inevitably involves a negative assessment of the authorities.”

In October 2022, Zhvakin was fined 30 thousand rubles ($430) for a solitary picket against military actions in Ukraine.

The first action with a cube in Samara was held by activist Vladimir Avdonin. In 2016, 2017, and 2019, he staged protests on Putin's birthday. 

Avdonin accuses the president of "trampling" on citizens' rights and freedoms, zeroing out his presidential terms, and creating a regime in which dissenters are jailed. Many of his friends have left Russia because of the political situation. Avdonin has been multiple times fined and arrested for his beliefs.


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