Russian Activist Detained After Posting Video Featuring Mock Trial Of Putin

A court in western Russia ordered the arrest of an opposition activist for posting a video that depicts President Vladimir Putin and two other figures being sentenced to death in a mock trial.

The Smolensk regional unit of Investigative Committee said the court issued the order against Sergei Komandirov, 26, on October 7, one day after police raided his apartment and detained him.

News reports said Komandirov had posted a video on social media about a mock trial of Putin, which also features the president’s press secretary, along with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate who is now the head of the state-owned oil company Rosneft.

At the end of the video, they are sentenced to death.

The video contains “signs of justification and the formation of an ideology of terrorism,” according to the Investigative Committee.

Komandirov, who was ordered held in pretrial detention, could not be reached for comment. It was unclear if he had a lawyer. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Komandirov was charged more than two years ago with a similar offense after he posted a meme mocking Putin. That case was brought under a law penalizing “disrespect toward the authorities.”

In March, the man who produced the original video, civil rights activist Karim Yamadayev, was found guilty by a military court in the central city of Samara.

The court, however, ordered him released from custody after spending more than a year in detention, and fined him 300,000 rubles ($4,000).

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