Young men appealing deplorable sentence

Yan Sidorov (left) and Vladislav Mordasov, Russian youth activists and prisoners of conscience
14
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Yan Sidorov, Vladislav Mordasov and Viacheslav Shashmin were convicted on 4 October under fabricated “mass disturbances” charges. Viacheslav Shashmin received a three-year suspended sentence. Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov were sentenced to over six years in prison and are appealing their sentence.

Yan Sidorov, 18, and Vladislav Mordasov, 21, were arrested on 5 November 2017 when they were preparing to hold a peaceful protest in front of the Rostov regional government building, in support of Rostov citizens who lost their homes in mass fires in July-August 2017. Around 700 people are officially recognised as victims of the fires.

Before the protest even began Yan and Vladislav were arrested for holding an "unlawful gathering". Later that same day Viacheslav Shashmin, 18, was arrested outside a nearby block of flats. He maintains that he did not take part in the protest and did not know Yan or Vladislav prior to arrest. Both Yan and Vladislav have complained of torture and other ill-treatment by police, in order to get their “confessions”. Their allegations have been ignored, in violation of their rights and of fair trial principles.

On 17 November 2017, Yan and Vladislav were officially charged with the crimes of “attempting to organise mass disturbances”, while Viacheslav was charged with "attempting to participate in mass disturbances".

The court sentenced Yan to six years and six months, while they sentenced Vladislav to seven years and seven months, in a penal colony reserved for those who have convicted the most serious crimes. Yan and Vladislav have appealed their convictions.

During the trial, at least a third of the witnesses whose refused to confirm their earlier testimonies given during the pre-trail investigation, stating that they had been pressured to give testimony against the young men by the investigators. Amnesty International believes the charges to be fabricated and the trial of the three men unfair.

 

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