A Russian man has been sentenced today to 2.5 years in prison for sharing the controversial Rammstein video for their 2011 track "Pussy" on a Russian social network in 2014. We reported yesterday about the pornography distribution charges.
Andrei Borovikov previously worked as a coordinator for Aleksei Navalny, the jailed opposition politician, and he believes this is why the Russian government targeted him. He is being charged with distributing pornography. Russian officials were tipped off after a volunteer at the headquarters where Borovikov tipped off authorities.
A translated quote from Russian in the publication Novaya Gazeta reads "The accusation is based on the testimony of a police informant who invited Borovikov to watch the saved video together, as well as on the conclusions of the examination ordered by the investigation, which did not find artistic value in the frank clip of the world famous group."
Borovikov was being accused of saving the video to his personal page on the Russian social network VKontakte. Prosecutors were requesting three years in "a strict regime colony." Borovikov did not admit guilt to the charges, which he considers politically motivated. He questioned the qualifications of the experts and noted the bias of the testifying witnesses.
A BBC report notes hundreds of reposts of the video are still up on VKontakte and the outlet was unable to find any other criminal cases over the video.
Amnesty International Moscow office director Natalia Zviagina told Radio Free Europe that the charges are a "mockery of justice" and should be dropped. She continued “The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiraling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.”
Rammstein has not yet commented on the matter.
You can watch the video here.