Reacting to the sentencing of student and blogger Dmitry Ivanov to 8.5-years’ imprisonment for his vocal opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Russia Director, said:
“Dmitry Ivanov’s case is another demonstration of the brutal repression of anti-war dissent by Russian authorities. It shows that anyone who alleges Russian forces have committed war crimes will pay for it with years behind bars.”
“The judiciary is no longer trying to maintain even the slightest appearance of impartiality. Both the prosecutor and the judge treated the statements of Russian officials as factual and truthful, that didn’t need independent verification. Anything that contradicted them was dismissed as false information.
Both the prosecutor and the judge treated the statements of Russian officials as factual and truthful, that didn’t need independent verification. Anything that contradicted them was dismissed as false information.Natalia Zviagina, Russia Director, Amnesty International
“Dmitry Ivanov is a prisoner of conscience. He and all those prosecuted and convicted for speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should be immediately and unconditionally released, and all charges against them dropped. The articles criminalizing criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should be repealed as violating the right to freedom of expression.”
On 7 March, Timiryazevsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Dmitry Ivanov, an IT student at Moscow State University (MSU) and a blogger on the Telegram channel “Protest MSU,” to 8.5 years of imprisonment. He was found guilty of “disseminating knowingly false information about the Russian Armed Forces motivated by political or ideological hatred” (Article 207.3(2) of the Russian Criminal Code).
He was charged for publications on the “Protest MSU” channel about alleged Russian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, unlawful strikes on Ukrainian cities, war crimes in the Ukrainian towns of Bucha and Irpin, as well as using the officially proscribed term “war” instead of “special military operation.”
On 2 June 2022, Dmitry Ivanov was about to be released after serving 35 days of administrative detention for breaching the repressive Russian law on public gatherings, but instead was charged and moved to pretrial detention. On 20 January 2023, Dmitry Ivanov was reportedly beaten by the guards in the courthouse. Additionally, according to his lawyer, the administration of the pre-trial detention centre violated his right to communicate by not posting his letters to addressees.