NewsA Russian 15-year-old gets five-year sentence for anti-Putin flyers

A Russian 15‑year-old gets five-year sentence for anti-Putin flyers

Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin.
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Mateusz Kaluga

21 June 2024 10:29

A Russian court has sentenced a teenage student to five years in a juvenile detention centre. Arseniy Turbin was accused of participating in a terrorist organisation. Investigators said he wished to join the Freedom of Russia Legion and distributed flyers criticising President Vladimir Putin to his neighbours' letterboxes.

The 15-year-old, Arseniy Turbin, was sentenced to five years in a juvenile detention centre by the Military District Court of the Second Western Region. The boy resides in the city of Livny in the Oryol Oblast. The verdict was reported by the Meduza portal, citing Mediazona's information.

Turbin was accused of participating in a terrorist organisation. According to investigators, at the beginning of June 2023, when he was 14, he contacted a Telegram bot for the Freedom of Russia Legion and filled out a membership form. He then distributed flyers with the text: "Do you need such a president?" to his neighbours' letterboxes.

Two months later, the FSB searched his home. He was detained and placed under house arrest with the possibility of attending school.

Investigation finds no ties to Freedom of Russia Legion

Let’s recall that the Freedom of Russia Legion is a formation established in March 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Its members conducted attacks in the Belgorod Oblast.

During the investigation, the student testified that he did not join the legion but distributed flyers following his beliefs, not someone else's instructions. This was in response to the FSB's claims that the materials were given to him by members of the terrorist legion.

Meduza reports that the investigation, in which Turbin was accused of intending to carry out terrorist attacks, found no links between the student and the Freedom of Russia Legion. The case files, as human rights defenders write, contain only correspondence in which the student talks about his readiness to distribute flyers and fight against Putin's propaganda. Human rights defenders have declared the 15-year-old a political prisoner.

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