Russian Rammstein fan faces jail sentence for sharing video of the band

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Andre Borovikov faces prison sentence by the Russian court after being charged with “distributing pornography” online.

In 2014, Borovikov shared Rammstein’s music video for the song “Pussy” in its uncensored version on the Russian social network “VKontakte”. The allegations, however, arose last year, when a volunteer at the environmental organization in which he held the position of coordinator reported him to the authorities. Amnesty International defended Borovikov, accusing the country’s authorities of using “Trump methods” to silence dissenting views and controversy. The accused had already been sentenced to 400 hours of forced labor in 2019 for organizing and participating in a protest against the construction of a landfill.

“The case against Andrei Borovikov is utterly absurd. It is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” says Natalia Zviagina, Office Director at AI’s Moscow office. ​“This is not the first time the Russian authorities have used an overbroad definition of ​‘pornography’ as a pretext for locking up their critics. Earlier this month, artist and feminist activist Yulia Tsvetkova stood trial on pornography charges over her drawings of women’s bodies – it is astonishing that cases like this even make it to court.

“The prosecution of Andrei Borovikov is a mockery of justice, and we call for all charges against him to be dropped,” she continues. ​“The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiralling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.

“The Russian government surely has better things to do than try its hand as a cultural critic. For example, it should be improving its dire record on freedom of expression, guaranteeing fair trial standards, releasing those detained for peacefully protesting, and putting a stop the politically motivated prosecution of activists.”