A Moscow court on Thursday fined a man for wearing yellow and blue sneakers, which Russian authorities said was a sign of support for Ukraine.
The man, who has not been identified, was accused of carrying ‘political tools’ on his feet when he was found and detained by local authorities in the center of the country’s capital near a protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine, Radio Free Europe reported. .
However, the man’s lawyer, Ilya Utkin, said his 40-year-old client was not involved in the protest and had gone out to buy presents for his family, according to Radio Free Europe, which also reported. cited information from Russian news sources. Insider and MSK1.ru.
The man was fined 10,000 rubles by Butyrsky District Court and was initially arrested by police on March 6, a day when large anti-war protests were taking place in the city that saw nearly than 2,000 people arrested, noted Radio Free Europe.
Newsweek attempted to reach Utkin for comment.
The fine to Moscow comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags on for nearly two months and after the country arrested thousands of people accused of protesting against the war.
Newsweek previously reported that on March 6, the day the man was arrested, according to OVD-Info, a human rights organization that tracks the number of arrests in Russia, police arrested more than 4,640 people who participated in anti-war rallies in 65 cities across the nation. “At least 30 cases of protesters being beaten have been confirmed and the number is likely to be much higher. There are numerous videos on social media in which police are seen beating anti-war protesters,” he said. declared OVD-Info in an update. March 6.
At the start of the war, the Russian parliament passed a law prohibiting the dissemination of what the government considered “false” information about the invasion or the Russian military. Those who break the law risk up to 15 years in prison. The move prompted major media outlets, including the BBC and CNN, to suspend work in the country to protect their staff members.
In another recent incident in January, a deaf man, who only communicates in sign language, was fined after being accused of shouting protest slogans during anti-government demonstrations.
Apologia Protesta (Apology of Protest), a human rights organization, claimed the man was not involved in protests that day in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, but that he was on her way to an arts and crafts store instead.
Meanwhile, in March, anti-war protesters were arrested for holding up blank signs during public demonstrations.