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Yury Shevchuk Makes Video Appeal to Judge Hearing Case of Taisiya Osipova

Source: (info), 27/12/11

· Right of assembly  · Protests  · Smolensk region 

Rock musician Yury Shevchuk has made a video appeal to Judge Dvoryanchikov, who is hearing the high-profile case of Taisiya Osipova in Smolensk.

As Echo of St. Petersburg reports, on 27 December Taisiya Osipova, an activist with The Other Russia political movement, was to make her final address to the court. Earlier the prosecutor had asked that Taisiya Osipova be given a prison sentence of 12 years and 8 months. Osipova is charged under Article 228 of the Criminal Code relating to narcotics. However, the case was investigated by officers from the police division responsible for combating extremism.

In his appeal, Yury Shevchuk said: “I appeal to you, Judge Dvoryanchikov, to live up to your family name and to do a noble thing [the root of the judge’s family name means ‘noble’ – trans.]. Support the rule of law. The prosecutor is demanding that Taisiya be given 12 years in prison. This is such a cruel injustice. Prison terms such as this are not even given to those who kill children. Even paedophiles are not given such long terms. And here is a wonderful young woman. Sort out her case. Set her free. We are asking in a Christian way. Though of course everything must be done in accordance with the law. Show that there is law in this country. May God give your courage and health. Best wishes. Yury Shevchuk.”

Taisiya Осипова is the spouse of Sergei Fomchenkov, one of the leaders of The Other Russia political movement. Osipova was charged at the time the documents were being prepared to register The Other Russia as a political party, and it was Sergei Fomchenkov who was coordinating the preparation of the documents to be given to the Ministry of Justice. Osipova at that time was detained in a pre-trial detention centre, despite being ill and despite the fact that she has a five-year-old daughter.