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State prosecution requests 9-year prison term for activist Mikhail Krieger on “terrorism justification” charges

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Russian state prosecutors have requested that “Solidarity” (“Solidarnost”) movement member and human rights activist Mikhail Krieger be sentenced to nine years in prison for “justifying terrorism” in his posts and comments on Facebook in 2020. The news was reported by the Telegram channel Freedom to Mikhail Krieger! (“Svobodu Mikhailu Krigeru!”), created in support of the activist.

The hearing was held in the 2nd Western District Military Court. After the end of the court session, Krieger sang the Ukrainian song “Chervona Kalyna” to the applause from the audience. In response to Krieger's singing, a policeman asked him to keep his voice down, with Krieger replying: “But I've already sung everything.”

When leaving the courtroom, multiple people leaned their palm through the glass against Krieger's hand in a show of support. Krieger’s sentence will be announced at the next hearing on May 17.

According to the prosecution, Krieger threatened the lives of FSB officers and called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be executed by hanging.

“Believe me, when and if I live to see this KGB scum hanged, I will fight tooth and nail for the right to participate in this morale-boosting event,” reads one of the comments.

Russia’s Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) put Krieger on its “list of terrorists and extremists.” In July, the activist was arrested for 10 days because of stickers on his car that read, “Navalny is my President” and “I am against Putin. I am for Navalny.” On November 5, 2022, he was jailed for two months on charges of “justifying terrorism.” The activist's charges were later increased, as he was also alleged to have “incited hatred or enmity” in a post about Vladimir Putin.

Krieger is a Moscow-based opposition activist and a former deputy of Moscow’s Tagansky District Council. He repeatedly went on pickets in defense of political prisoners, spoke in support of Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg, and stood on duty at a memorial on Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge, where opposition activist Boris Nemtsov was murdered. Since 2014, Krieger organized rallies against the war in Ukraine. In 1991, during the August Coup, he and his wife Vera took part in defending the White House, as the building became a center of resistance to the State Committee on the State of Emergency.

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