In Russia, opposition and anti-war activist faces a 9-year prison sentence

Mikhail Krieger, an opposition and anti-war activist, faces a 9-year prison sentence after being accused of “justifying terrorism” by the Russian state.

Russian state prosecutors asked that “Solidarity” (“Solidarnost”) movement member and human rights activist Mikhail Krieger receive a sentence of up to nine years in prison for “justifying terrorism” in his posts and comments on Facebook in 2020. It was reported by the Telegram channel Freedom to Mikhail Krieger! (“Svobodu Mikhailu Krigeru!”), which was launched in support of the activist.

The hearing took place in the 2nd Western District Military Court. To the audience’s cheers, Krieger performed the Ukrainian song “Chervona Kalyna” after the court session.

Several individuals leaned their palms against Krieger’s hand as they left the courtroom through the glass to show their support. This case shows that the Kremlin regime intensifies its crackdown on opposition and dissidents amid Russia’s war against Ukraine.

According to the prosecution, Krieger allegedly threatened the lives of FSB agents and demanded that Russian President Vladimir Putin be hanged.

The comment, “Believe me, when and if I live to see this KGB scum hanged, I will fight tooth and nail for the right to participate in this morale-boosting event,” is one of the comments.

Krieger was included in the “list of terrorists and extremists” maintained by Russia’s Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring). In July, the activist was detained for 10 days because of stickers on his car that read, “Navalny is my President” and “I am against Putin. I am for Navalny.” He was sentenced to two months in prison on November 5, 2022, for “justifying terrorism.”

The activist later faced more serious accusations, including that he “incited hatred” in a post about Russian dictator Putin.

Krieger, a Moscow-based opposition activist, served as a Tagansky District Council member in the past. He frequently participated in rallies in support of political prisoners. He gave speeches in favor of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader and Putin’s jailed opponent.

Krieger also acted as a guard at the memorial on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge, the scene of the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Krieger has coordinated protests against Russia’s war in Ukraine since 2014.

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