Russian directors, actors, writers and journalists have written an open letter to the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, Tatyana Moskalkova, with a request to facilitate the release of Yevgenia Berkovich and Svetlana Petriychuk, who are accused of justifying terrorism, from pretrial detention.
The text of the letter, the reason for which was the death of grandmother Berkovich, writer and human rights activist Nina Katerla, and the impossibility of her granddaughter to attend the funeral, is published by Novaya Gazeta.
In it, in particular, it says: “What happened, what Zhenya Berkovich spoke about at every court hearing on the extension of the arrest. She asked the court to change her restraining order: she has two grandmothers and two adopted daughters who are dependent on her. Tatiana Nikolaevna! We ask you about mercy. We ask you to help Svetlana Petriychuk and Zhena Berkovich have their restraining order changed. If only so that she could bury her grandmother.”
Among those who signed the letter are actors Timofey Tribuntsev, Konstantin Raikin, Yevgeny Mironov, Chulpan Khamatova, Danyla Kozlovsky and Veniamin Smekhov, writers Lyudmila Ulytskaya, Guzel Yakhina, Dmitry Bykov, directors Alexander Sokurov and Dmitry Krymov, journalists Kateryna Gordeeva, Nikolay Solodnikov and Ivan Urgant. economist and human rights activist Iryna Yasyna, TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak, Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov.
- A criminal case on the public justification of terrorism against Evgenia Berkovich and Svetlana Petriychuk was initiated in early May, and they have been in pretrial detention since the same month. The reason for the persecution was the play “Finist Yasnyi Sokol”, staged by Berkovych based on the play by Petrychuk. The play tells about the fate of Russian women who married Islamic radicals and were subsequently recruited into the “Islamic State” movement, recognized as terrorist in many countries of the world, including Russia. The criminal case is based on an examination written by Roman Silantiev, who calls himself a destructologist. Silantiev considered that Wahhabism is supported in the play and performance. At the same time, the production, which has been running with great success since 2019, was twice awarded the main Russian theater award “Golden Mask” – for the best direction and the best work of the costume designer.
- Law enforcement officers also came to the 89-year-old grandmother Berkovych – Nina Katerly with a search on a catch case. On October 25, at a hearing in the Moscow City Court, the defendant accused of justifying terrorism asked to change her restraining order “until no one close to her died.” The court refused Berkovich. The day before, November 20, Katerly died.