JRL NEWSWATCH: “Prigozhin went free. What about these Russians?” – Washington Post

File Photo of Prison Cell and Bars with Shaft of Light, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“For 18 months, Russia has been sliding deeper into totalitarian rule, including draconian laws pushed by … Putin that make it criminal to question the war against Ukraine — or even call it a ‘war’ …. [T]housands of Russians who object to the war and oppose [] Putin have not had the benefit of [the kind of] lenienc[y] [shown Prigozhin, who had no charges brought against him after briefly beginning an armed rebellion.] [Various Russians] protested — on social media, on the streets — only to be charged with crimes and imprisoned. … [T]here [reportedly] are 527 suspects and people convicted in antiwar criminal cases in Russia …. Since the invasion was launched, 19,735 people have been detained for speaking out against the war. Their cases are not being dropped. …”

Statistics about prosecutions relating to anti-war activity were from the group OVD-Info, which tracks cases and seeks to support the accused.

In addition to instances of opposition figures being jailed for years, other anecdotes apparently abound. In one case, after a junior high student drew an antiwar sketch at school, reportedly her father was convicted of discrediting the Russian military and the young teen was forced to live in an orphanage.  In another case, reportedly when an artist, arrested over anti-Putin graffiti, asked for a lawyer, security forces hit him in the jaw.

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