Russian dissident allowed to go free on written promise he will not leave Czech Republic while facing legal proceedings

21-09-2016

Prague’s Municipal court has allowed Russian dissident and art activist Oleg Vorotnikov to go free on a written promise he will not leave the Czech Republic as long as he is subject to legal proceedings. The artist is wanted in Russia for hooliganism. The Czech judge overhearing his case took into the account that Mr Vorotnikov had been travelling in the Czech Republic with his family at the time of his arrest and not “in hiding” ; she also considered the nature of the charges against him. The artist’s lawyer welcomed the outcome, but expressed fear that if the artist, a fierce critic of the Putin regime, were returned to Russia, he would face persecution. He also suggested Mr Vorotnikov will try and seek political asylum in the Czech Republic. The Russian activist is the leader of the art group Voina, which has ridiculed the Putin regime through street art, for example, spraying a giant phallus on a drawbridge in St. Petersburg across from the headquarters of the secret services.