A group of Russian doctors appealed to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in connection with the verdict handed down this week to St. Petersburg artist Sasha Skochylenko in the case of so-called fakes about the Russian army. As of Saturday evening, more than 130 doctors have signed the open letter.
In the letter, doctors of various specialties address Putin as the guarantor of the constitution. The authors of the petition call Skochylenko’s sentence unfair, noting that the sentence – 7 years of imprisonment – was handed down to her for “a pacifist action that does not violate the law.” The doctors, however, are paying special attention to the state of health of Skochylenko, who is in the pre-trial detention center. “She has been diagnosed with a number of serious chronic diseases that require proper medical supervision and a special diet,” the appeal says. It also mentions the “mass early release of people who have committed serious crimes, such as rape and murder” – we are talking about prisoners recruited for the war in Ukraine. Against this background, as stated in the appeal, Skochylenko’s sentence appears to be particularly unfair. The letter ends with a demand for the release of the artist.
Doctors who are ready to sign the application can leave comments under the post of surgeon Alexander Vanyukov on Facebook, “Mediazona” notes.
- 33-year-old Sasha Skochylenko has been in the pretrial detention center since April 2022. She was charged with fakes about the army after she exchanged five price tags in the “Perekrestok” store for slips of paper with data on the number of dead in Ukraine and calls to stop the war. The artist acknowledged the fact of distributing anti-war stickers, but stated that the information on them is not false, and therefore she does not consider herself guilty.
- Prosecutors changed three times in the case. To prove Skochylenko’s guilt, the investigation turned to two experts for a linguistic conclusion – linguist Anastasia Hryshanina and political scientist with “philological, legal and political education” Olga Safonova. But in the examination there were not only linguistic conclusions, but also psycholinguistic ones, although the investigation experts did not have such competence. Prosecution experts stated that the prices contained motives of political hatred. The philologist Svetlana Drugoveyko-Dolzhanskaya kept her position at St. Petersburg State University for criticizing this examination.
- During the investigation, Skochylenko’s defense repeatedly asked to release Sasha under house arrest or sign a restraining order. The artist has many health problems, including gluten intolerance. In the pre-trial detention center, the disease worsened, as the detention center cannot provide Skochylenko with adequate nutrition.
- On November 16, the court sentenced her to 7 years in a general regime colony.