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Startseite Urgent Actions 2018 05 Peaceful protester in pre-trial detention Mikhail Tsakunov released, trial ongoing
FI 090/18-1
Abgeschlossen am 29. April 2019
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18.09.2019 Even better news!

Further to the news shared back in May, we have now even better news regarding Mikhail Tsakunov.

On 17 September, the St Petersburg City Court overturned his conviction and acquitted him of all charges (of using violence against a police officer). Mikhail Tsakunov has now the right to receive a compensation for illegal criminal prosecution and spending a year in pre-trial detention.

Thanks again for supporting his case at the time as that provided him with visibility and support and surely made a difference.



You might remember we decided to stop campaigning on the case of Mikhail Tsakunov following his release on 26 April.

We would like to confirm that our forecast for the outcome has been confirmed and that he did not get a custodial sentence.

On 20 May, the Dzerzhinsky District Court of St. Petersburg found him guilty and sentenced him to a fine of 100 000 rubles (1 500 USD) that he did not have to pay on account of the time spend in pre-trial detention. However, Mikhail Tsakunov was obliged to pay 26 000 rubles (400 USD) as compensation to the «injured» police officer.

Mikhail Tsakunov, should have never spent time in pre-trial detention or been prosecuted, as he was detained for peacefully participating in a protest on 5 May 2018. Instead, an inquest should have been opened into the actions of police officers and the use of force against demonstrators. Nevertheless, the fact he has been sentenced to a fine and not given time in prison is excellent news and unusual in this type of cases.

Thanks again to all those that supported this action as we believe the national and international outcry played a key role.

Mikhail Tsakunov released, trial ongoing

AI-Index: EUR 46/0270/2019

Prisoner of conscience Mikhail Tsakunov was released under travel restrictions on 26 April after spending almost a year in pre-trial detention. He was arrested in May 2018 and charged with violence against a police officer for his peaceful participation in an opposition rally. The criminal proceedings against him are ongoing and he is still facing up to five years in prison if convicted.

Mikhail Tsakunov was released under travel restrictions on 26 April after spending nearly a year in pre-trial detention. He was arrested by riot police on 5 May 2018 in central Saint-Petersburg, Russia, while he was peacefully attending a protest against Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president and was accused of hitting a police officer in the face and knocking out a tooth. He was initially charged under Art. 318(2) of the Criminal Code of Russia, «violence against a representative of authorities threatening their life or health», which bears a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

Video footage of the arrest and additional available evidence contradicted the riot police’s claims and confirmed Mikhail Tsakunov was a prisoner of conscience prosecuted solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and assembly and that he needed to be immediately and unconditionally released. Moreover, the footage raised serious questions regarding the actions of the riot police and their use of force during the protest.

We believe that the public campaign on behalf of Mikhail Tsakunov including appeals sent by Amnesty International members contributed to ensuring his release from pre-trial detention. While it is a positive development, together with the lessening of the charges against him, he should have never been arrested or imprisoned for protesting peacefully in the first place. The criminal proceedings against him are still ongoing, and he may still face up to five years in prison if convicted.

We will continue monitoring the ongoing trial, insist that all charges against him be dropped and renew our public campaigning if he is deprived of his freedom again.


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