It’s well known that German industrial metallers Rammstein aren’t exactly prude when it comes to their music videos. It’s also very well known that Russia’s government is extremely harsh to people who violate moral codes, especially when those people are linked to activists who speak out against Putin and his pals. Which is why it’s terribly unfortunate, but not very surprising, to learn that a Russian activist connected to an opposition politician has been given a 2.5 year prison sentence — for sharing a Rammstein video clip.
As reported by Metal Injection, Andrei Borovikov, a former coordinator for imprisoned opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, has been convicted of “pornography distribution charges” for sharing a clip from Rammstein’s controversial “Pussy” video on the Russian social media site VKontakte. Borovikov believes it’s his political allegiance, not the music video, that got him his 2.5 year prison sentence. As a BBC report notes, reposts of the clip are still available on VKontakte, but none of the other sharers have been persecuted.
A quote from Russian publication Novaya Gazeta reads, via Google Translate, “The accusation is based on the testimony of a police informant who invited Borovikov to watch the saved video together, as well as on the conclusions of the examination ordered by the investigation, which did not find artistic value in the frank clip of the world famous group.”
Speaking to Radio Free Europe, Amnesty International Moscow office director Natalia Zviagina said the charges are a “mockery of justice,” adding, “The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiraling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.”
Apparently, prosecutors requested that Borovikov serve three years in “a strict regime colony,” which is couched language for a work camp that will undoubtedly result in Borovikov’s death (sorry, comrades, Russia doesn’t do time served).
You can watch Rammstein’s “Pussy” video below, but be careful if you’re in Russia.
Words by Chris Krovatin