Russian Tik-Toker and his girlfriend are jailed for 10 MONTHS for simulating a sex act in front of cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square
A Russian Tik-Toker and his girlfriend have been jailed for 10 months for simulating a sex act in front of a cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.
Ruslan Murodzhonzoda and Anastasia Chistova were found guilty by Moscow’s Tverskoi district court today for ‘offending religious sentiment’ after they imitated oral sex in front of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
They were detained in late September after he posted the picture showing Chistova kneeling in front of him near the cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.
In the picture, captioned ‘The Labor Code is not the Criminal [Code], you can break it’, the blonde woman was seen wearing a Russian police jacket.
Russian Tik-Toker Ruslan Murodzhonzoda and his girlfriend Anastasia Chistova have been jailed for 10 months for simulating oral sex in front of St Basil’s cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square
The couple were found guilty by Moscow’s Tverskoi district court of ‘offending religious sentiment’ (pictured, a side view of the picture posted to Instagram)
The pair were detained for 10 days after posting the photo for defying police, and the blogger apologised for the picture and paid a $71 fine.
Announcing the new sentence today, the court said: ‘Anastasia Chistova and Ruslani Murodzhonzoda committed public actions expressing clear disrespect for society.’
Murodzhonzoda posts mostly pranks on his social media, while Chistova was described by media as an Instagram model.
It was the latest crackdown on a minor transgression in Russia, where leader Vladimir Putin has pushed an increasingly conservative agenda
Since returning to the Kremlin for a third term in 2012, Putin has sought to defend traditional values and promote Russia as the antithesis of the West.
That year, two Pussy Riot members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for hooliganism after their performance in a cathedral protesting against close ties between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.
The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on all forms of dissent and independent media, with authorities imprisoning top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny for two-and-a-half years in prison on old embezzlement charges.
In 2012, two Pussy Riot members (left and right) were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for hooliganism after their performance in a cathedral protesting against close ties between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church
‘Madness, just madness,’ Navalny’s close associate Leoniod Volkov said of the blogger’s case on Twitter.
‘They DID nothing,’ he added, ‘It’s just a picture.’
Kevin Rothrock, managing editor of the English-language edition of Meduza, said: ‘This prank, a simulated act of oral sex with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background, has just resulted in 10-month prison sentences for its two young participants.
‘Nearly a year behind bars — for a joke.’
Top rights group Memorial said this week that the number of political prisoners in Russia had risen to 420 from 362 last year, part of a trend that recalls late Soviet-era repression.