MOSCOW (AFP) – A Russian court on Thursday relaxed a two-year prison sentence for an activist who presented a model wearing a mask of President Vladimir Putin.
Alexander Shabarchin and Danila Vasilyev were arrested in 2018 after shooting a model in a mask and prisoner outfit on a lamp post in the Ural city of Perm.
They then filmed the reactions of passers-by and uploaded the video to YouTube.
In August the 22-year-old Shabarch was sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism, while Vasilyev was given a one-year suspended sentence.
After an appeal, the Perm regional court reduced Shabarchin’s prison term and sentenced him to a two-year suspended sentence on Thursday, court spokeswoman Alyona Popova told AFP.
Vasilyev’s punishment remained unchanged.
The leading Russian rights group Memorial described Shabarchin as a “political prisoner”.
Amnesty International said last month that Shabarchin should be released and Vasilyev’s conviction overturned.
The coup “falls within the framework of the right to freedom of expression, which Russia as a party to international human rights treaties wants to uphold,” said Natalia Prilutskaya, Russian researcher at Amnesty International.
© Agence France-Presse