Moscow Court Sentences 'New Greatness' Group Member To Six Years In Prison.

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

A court in Moscow has sentenced a member of the so-called New Greatness movement to six years in prison on extremism charges.
The Lyublino district court on October 29 found Pavel Rebrovsky guilty of creating an extremist organization and sentenced him the same day. The court also ruled that Rebrovsky will be under parole-like police supervison for one year after serving his term and barred him from placing any materials on the Internet for three years.. In addition, the court concluded that Rebrovsky may have psychiatric problems and must undergo medical treatment because of that. In April last year, Rebrovsky made a deal with investigators to testify against other suspects in the high-profile case, and was sentenced to 29 months in prison for being a member of the group. However, several months later, after Rebrovsky recanted his testimony, saying it had been made under duress, prosecutors demanded that his verdict and sentence be annulled, which the Moscow City Court did in October 2019. Then in August this year, the Lyublino district court sentenced seven members of the movement to prison terms ranging from seven years in prison to four-year suspended sentences. All of the defendants were arrested in 2018 and charged with creating an extremist group with the intention of overthrowing Russian President Vladimir Putin's government.

Critics say the case against them was fabricated by Russia’s security services.
The rights group Memorial describes the seven as political prisoners. The group members said they had turned their online chat group, which was critical of Russia's government, into a political movement called New Greatness at the suggestion of one group member. Later, it was revealed that the man who proposed the idea, wrote the movement's charter, and rented premises for gatherings was a special agent of Russia's Federal Security Service(FSB). Last year, another member of the group, Rustam Rustamov, who also made a deal with the investigators, received a suspended 18-month prison sentence. One more member of the group, Sergei Gavrilov, fled to Ukraine in October 2019, where he asked for political asylum.

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