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Startseite Urgent Actions 2022 04 Artist faces up to 10 years for anti-war action Artist’s detention prolonged
FI 036/22-2
Russia •
Aktiv seit 10. Juni 2022 | Noch 32 Tage Laufzeit

Artist’s detention prolonged

AI-Index: EUR 46/5692/2022

On 30 May a court extended the pretrial detention of artist Aleksandra Skochilenko until 1 July. Aleksandra Skochilenko was arrested on 11 April accused of replacing price tags with anti-war information in a supermarket in Saint Petersburg. She is charged with «disseminating knowingly false information about the use of the Russian Armed Forces». Aleksandra Skochilenko has a serious health condition and placing her in pre-trial detention where she is not getting the full appropriate diet and medical care puts her health and wellbeing at risk. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.


Aleksandra Skochilenko is a songwriter and artist from St. Petersburg. She is accused of replacing price tags in local supermarkets with anti-war information, including about those killed during the shelling of the Mariupol Drama Theatre.

On 11 April, police searched Aleksandra Skochilenko’s home, arrested and interrogated her until 3am the next morning. On 13 April, the Vasileostrovsky District Court placed her in pre-trial detention until 1 June 2022 (the term is likely to be extended).

Aleksandra Skochilenko is accused of «public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the exercise by state bodies of the Russian Federation of their powers» under recently added Article 207.3 (2) of the Criminal Code. She faces 5 to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Aleksandra Skochilenko is well-known in the art community: she writes songs, creates comic books and cartoons, organizes concerts and jam sessions. She also wrote the famous «Book About Depression» which helped many people and contributed to destigmatizing mental illnesses. The book has become extremely popular. It has been reprinted several times and translated into various languages. It also has inspired many videos and exhibitions.

Aleksandra Skochilenko suffers from celiac disease and requires a special gluten-free diet. On 20 April it was reported that her health had deteriorated due to lack of access to adequate food. On 21 April her lawyer informed Amnesty International that the detention centre finally allowed a food parcel from her family more suitable for her.

On 23 April she was transferred from a temporary detention centre to a pre-trial detention centre.

On 25 April one of Aleksandra Skochilenko’s lawyers visited her in the pre-trial detention centre and reported that her health condition was getting worse, as she was not being able to eat as she is not provided with the diet she requires, and she has not been allowed food provided by her family either. She feels weak much of the time. She is also being subjected to psychological pressure from detention centre guards and her cellmates, and she has to cope with unsanitary conditions and cold in her cell.

On 7 May, after the above information was shared with the media, Aleksandra’s conditions in detention were improved. She is provided with gluten-free food at least once a day. However, she is unable to have either breakfast or dinner. On the day of her last trial she was unable to eat anything all day. Aleksandra lost a lot of weight while in detention which creates risks for a person with her disease.

In addition to that, the investigation made her partner a witness in her criminal trial. That means that they cannot see each other. Her partner made a few claims but the investigator declined all of them.

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.

  • Take action on Social media: Infos see the yellow field on the right.

  • Please take action before 4 August 2022.

  • Preferred language: Russian. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear Prosecutor,

I am writing to urge you to stop the prosecution of Aleksandra Skochilenko under charges of «disseminating knowingly false information about the use of the Russian Armed Forces» (Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code). She is accused of swapping price tags in a St. Petersburg supermarket for anti-war slogans, which would not constitute an internationally recognized crime. She was arrested on 11 April and interrogated until 3am the next morning. Aleksandra Skochilenko has a serious health condition and placing her in pre-trial detention where she is not getting the appropriate diet or medical care carries out serious risks for her health and wellbeing.

Aleksandra Skochilenko is a songwriter and artist from Saint Petersburg. She is internationally famous for her work on destigmatizing mental illnesses that have helped many people inside and outside Russia.

Aleksandra Skochilenko suffers from celiac disease (genetic gluten intolerance). If she consumes gluten, organ failure or oncological and autoimmune diseases may start to develop. According to her lawyer and media reports, the pre-trial detention centre can’t fully ensure the gluten-free diet and doesn’t lift the restrictions for food delivered by her family. This neglect of her health puts her in serious danger.

In light of the above, I urge you to:

- Immediately drop the criminal case against Aleksandra Skochilenko and release her;

- Pending that, ensure that Aleksandra Skochilenko is held in conditions meeting international standards and provided with the adequate medical treatment she may require at the same standards of health care that are available in the community, including by urgently guaranteeing she can access an appropriate diet.

Yours sincerely,


Appeals to

Melnik Viktor Dmitrievich
Prosecutor of Saint Petersburg
2/9 Pochtamtskaya street
Saint Petersburg
Russian Federation

Fax: +7(812) 318-26-47

(Send the letter online via this platform )
(ONLY FOR VPN USERS – the website is not accessible from outside Russia. If you have a VPN with a Russian server, you can access the platform.)


Copies to

Botschaft der Russischen Föderation
Brunnadernrain 37
3006 Bern

Fax: 031 352 55 95


→ Letter delivery to other countries - General info:
It is possible to send PRIORITY letters to almost all countries.
Please check
on the Website of the Swiss Post, whether letters are currently being delivered to the destination country.
If not, we ask you to use other communication channels (email, fax or social media, if available) for the delivery of your appeal and/or send it via the embassy with the request for forwarding to the named person.

Social media guide

As Facebook and Instagram are now designated as extremist and Twitter is blocked, the Prosecutors office only has official Russian social media accounts such as Telegram (also VK, Odnoklassniki)

You can try to write to them in Odnoklassniki, there is an option to do that, but not in other social media.

They have an account on Youtube as well, so you can leave your comments under the videos (they are not closed at the time of issue).

# FreeSashaSkochilenko


Stop the prosecution of Sasha Skochilenko !

Close the case against Sasha Skochilenko!

Speaking out is a human right and should not be a crime!

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Aleksandra’s supporters have made their own petition with additional information about this case (please be aware that this has not been done in collaboration with Amnesty as some of the wording may not be in accordance with our policy).

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