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Russian art activist Pyotr Pavlensky claims assault by police

Russian art activist Pyotr Pavlensky claims assault by police
Pyotr Pavlensky (Image: Dmitry Tsyrenshikov (2014))

18 May 2016

Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky has claimed that he was beaten by detainee escort officers at the Moscow City Court.

“As I write these lines, my knee has been injured, I have a cracked rib and internal bruising,” Pavlensky wrote in a handwritten letter published on Facebook by his partner Oksana Shalygina, laying blame on “the convoy guards of the Moscow City Court”.

In a statement to AFP, Pavlensky’s lawyer Dmitry Dinze confirmed the artist’s injuries, affirming that the assault took place on Monday as Pavlensky was taken back to prison after a court hearing. According to Mr Dinze, his client was attacked by a single guard.

A spokeswoman for Moscow City Court, Ulyana Solopova, told Russian news agencies that the police, rather than the court, is responsible for the transfer of defendants back to detention centres.

Pavlensky set fire to the entrance of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on 9 November 2015 in an artistic action against the organisation entitled Threat. The criminal charges against him have been changed from “vandalism” to “damaging a cultural heritage site”.

Notorious for his violent artistic actions, in 2012 Pavlensky sewed his mouth shut in protest against the detention of Russian punk group Pussy Riot, while in November 2013 he nailed his scrotum to the ground on Red Square.

Source: AFP / Yahoo