Prosecutors request six-year sentence for Russian director and playwright — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Prosecutors request six-year sentence for Russian director and playwright

Yevgenia Berkovich (centre) and Svetlana Petriychuk (right) in court. Photo: Alexandra Astakhova / Mediazona

Yevgenia Berkovich (centre) and Svetlana Petriychuk (right) in court. Photo: Alexandra Astakhova / Mediazona

Prosecutors have requested that a Moscow court sentence director Yevgenia Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk to six years in prison for their controversial play Finist, The Brave Falcon, Russian independent outlet Mediazona reported on Friday.

Berkovich and Petriychuk were arrested in May last year for Berkovich’s production of Petriychuk’s play, which told the stories of Russian women who had travelled to Syria during its civil war to marry ISIS members they had met online.

The play, which received two prestigious Golden Mask awards in 2022, was deemed by an expert for the prosecution to contain “the ideology of radical feminism,” which he linked to “the conscious preparation and execution of terrorist acts.”

A report written for the Federal Security Service (FSB) concluded that the play “glorified terrorists”, making them appear “interesting and attractive to girls and women” while portraying Russian men in a negative light.

As well as requesting a six-year prison term for both women, prosecutors requested that they be banned from managing websites for four years. Their defence lawyers declined to comment on the requested sentencing, and made no statement to the press.

The trial was closed to the public on 13 June, following prosecutors’ concerns about one of the witnesses being threatened online. Sentencing is due to take place next week.

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