RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Artist Faces up to 10 Years for Anti-War Action

DOWNLOAD A PDF OF UA 36/22 HERE

Artist Aleksandra Skochilenko was arrested on 11 April and interrogated until 3am the next morning. She is accused of replacing price tags with anti-war information and slogans in a supermarket in Saint Petersburg on 31 March. She was charged with “disseminating knowingly false information about the use of the Russian Armed Forces” and placed in pre-trial detention until 1 June. Aleksandra Skochilenko has a serious health condition and placing her in pre-trial detention, where she would not be getting the appropriate diet or medical care she needs, puts her health and wellbeing at risk. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

Aleksandra Skochilenko suffers from celiac disease (genetic gluten intolerance). If she consumes gluten, organ failure or oncological and autoimmune diseases may start to develop. It has been reported that the pre-trial detention centre neither provides her with gluten-free food or allows such food to be sent to her.  

Aleksandra Skochilenko is a songwriter and artist from Saint Petersburg. She is internationally famous for her work on destigmatizing mental illnesses that has helped many people inside and outside Russia 

Write to the Prosecutor of Saint Petersburg urging him to: 

  • immediately drop the criminal case against Aleksandra Skochilenko and release her 
  • pending that, ensure that Aleksandra Skochilenko’s conditions and treatment meet international standards and that she has access to adequate health care and appropriate food at the same standards that are available in the community 

Write to: 

Melnik Viktor Dmitrievich 

Prosecutor of Saint Petersburg 

2/9 Pochtamtskaya street 

Saint Petersburg 

190000 

Russian Federation 

Fax: 011 7 812 3182650 

Salutation: Dear Prosecutor: 

And copy

His Excellency Oleg Stepanov  

Ambassador 

Embassy of the Russian Federation 

285 Charlotte Street 

Ottawa, ON K1N 8L5 

Phone: 613 235 4341 

Fax: 613 236 6342 

Email:  info@rusembassy.ca 

Additional information 

Aleksandra Skochilenko is a songwriter and artist from St. Petersburg. She is accused of replacing price tags in local supermarkets with anti-war information, including about those killed during the shelling of the Mariupol Drama Theatre. 

On 11 April, police searched Aleksandra Skochilenko’s home, and they arrested and interrogated her until 3am the next morning. On 13 April, the Vasileostrovsky District Court placed her in pre-trial detention until 1 June 2022 (the term is likely to be extended). 

Aleksandra Skochilenko is accused of “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the exercise by state bodies of the Russian Federation of their powers” under the recently added Article 207.3(2) of the Criminal Code. She faces 5 to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

Aleksandra Skochilenko is well-known in the art community: she writes songs, creates comic books and cartoons, organizes concerts and jam sessions. She also wrote the famous “Book About Depression” which helped many people and contributed to destigmatizing mental illnesses. The book has become extremely popular. It has been reprinted several times and translated into various languages. It also has inspired many videos and exhibitions.  

Aleksandra Skochilenko suffers from celiac disease and requires a special gluten-free diet. On 20 April it was reported that her health had deteriorated due to lack of access to adequate food. On 21 April her lawyer informed Amnesty International that the detention centre finally allowed her to receive a food parcel from her family that catered to her gluten-free diet. 

On 23 April she was transferred from a temporary detention centre to a pre-trial detention centre. 

On 25 April one of Aleksandra Skochilenko’s lawyers visited her in the pre-trial detention centre and reported that her health condition is getting worse. She cannot eat as she is not provided with the diet she requires, and she has not been allowed food provided by her family either. She feels weak much of the time. She has also reported being subjected to pressure from detention centre guards and her cellmates. 

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If you want Updates on this case, send your request to urgentaction@amnesty.ca with “Keep me updated on UA 36/22” in the subject line.
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