Russian doctors urge Putin to free ailing anti-war activist

Russian doctors urge Putin to free ailing anti-war activist

MOSCOW: More than 200 Russian doctors have written an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for the release of anti-war activist and artist Alexandra Skochilenko, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison, reported German news agency (dpa).

Skochilenko has several serious chronic illnesses that require medical treatment and special nutrition, according to the letter which had been signed by 247 people by Sunday morning.

Being held in the prison camp could further worsen her health situation, the letter says.

Skochilenko was sentenced for repudiating Russia’s war on Ukraine and did not even break the law with her pacifist action, the doctors say.

They reminded Putin that he is the guarantor of the Constitution, which provides for freedom of expression.

Skochilenko replaced five price tags with anti-war slogans in a shop last year. A court in St Petersburg sentenced her to seven years in prison on Thursday.

The doctors also criticised the injustice of a sentence that was not based on a crime, referring to the “mass early release” of murderers and rapists.

Putin pardoned masses of serious criminals as a reward for their fighting in the war on Ukraine.

Skochilenko was denounced for spreading false information about the Russian army. The musician and poet was detained after the action in April 2022 and has been in custody ever since.

She has steadfastly denied the accusations. Her case has led to outrage abroad as she was held in custody despite being seriously ill, and Skochilenko was classified as a political prisoner by the human rights groups Amnesty International and Memorial.

Her partner also repeatedly publicised her situation and the political persecution.–Bernama-dpa


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