New East Digital Archive

Russian art activist Pyotr Pavlensky to seek asylum in France

Russian art activist Pyotr Pavlensky to seek asylum in France
Pyotr Pavlensky (Image: Dmitry Tsyrenshikov, 2014)

16 January 2017

Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky says he plans to seek asylum in France, amid allegations that he committed a sex crime.

According to a report by Russian independent television channel TV Rain published today, Pavlensky and his partner, Oksana Shalygina, left Russia for France following nine hours of questioning by police upon their arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from Poland on 14 December.

Actress Anastasiia Slonina of independent theatre company Teatr.doc has accused the pair of raping her, an allegation that Pavlensky and Shalygina deny, claiming that the measure was a means of stopping Pavlensky from conducting dissident activities. CCTV footage has emerged allegedly showing Pavlensky and Shalygina, together with several friends, violently attacking Slonina’s partner, Teatr.doc actor Vasily Berezin.

The day after their lengthy questioning, the couple flew to Kiev with their children, from where they intend to travel to France.

Known 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. In November 2015, Pavlensky set fire to the entrance of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in an artistic action against the organisation.

Source: Radio Liberty