Oleksandr Volodarsky to serve sentence over protest against Morality Commission
Oleksandr Volodarsky, civic activist and journalist, is to be sent to a corrective centre for 9 months. He was sentenced under Article 296 (“group hooliganism”) over a protest outside the Verkhovna Rada in 2009. Oleksandr and an unidentified woman, both naked, simulated sexual intercourse to express their protest against the activities of the National Expert Commission for the Defence of Public Morality.
Oleksandr was sentenced to a year’s restriction of liberty. He has already spent a month and a half in SIZO [pre-trial detention centre] following his arrest on 2 November 2009. The sentence was announced on 9 September 2010, without the Court of Appeal upholding it on 24 December.
At the present time Oleksandr Volodarsky is working as a journalist, specializing in political analysis and investigations into radical activism. Whether he can continue his work will depend on the administration of the corrective institution in the Kyiv region.
Oleksandr believes that the choice of a relatively severe punishment for the act is linked with his civic activity. He says that they did not get a show trial to frighten activists due to the untypical and absurd nature of the charge and the large number of infringements by the investigator.