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Russian theatre director and playwright go on trial in ‘absurd’ case over 2020 play | World Information

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A theatre director and a playwright have appeared in courtroom accused of justifying terrorism with a play they first staged in Moscow again in 2020.

The trial of Zhenya Berkovich and Svetlana Petriychuk is the primary high-profile case since Soviet occasions to be primarily based on the contents of a theatre manufacturing.

Their supporters imagine the prosecution is a part of a Kremlin-led cultural purge.

“It is absurd,” Elena Efros, Zhenya’s mom, advised Sky Information exterior the navy courtroom in east Moscow.

“I’m certain [the witnesses] will say all the things essential to show, so far as doable, the absurdity of this accusation,” she stated.

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The play, referred to as Finist, The Courageous Falcon, is about Russian ladies who turned radicalised and travelled to Syria to marry Islamic State fighters. It’s primarily based on the transcripts of actual police interviews.

Elena Efros, Zhenya’s mom, says the case towards them is ‘absurd’

To start with, it was met with crucial acclaim. It received two Golden Masks awards – Russia’s reply to the Oliviers and Tonys.

It was even counseled by the Russian jail service, based on Petriychuk’s lawyer, who advised a earlier listening to it had been learn to inmates at a penal colony in Siberia.

However then Russia invaded Ukraine.

Berkovich and Petriychuk had been arrested in Might 2023, regardless of the play now not being staged. State-appointed consultants had combed by means of the textual content and located “traces of Isis ideology” and “radical feminism”.

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On the time, associates stated it was a smokescreen, believing they had been detained for Berkovich’s anti-war poetry and former protests.

Natalya Livshits was amongst round a dozen supporters who had been at this listening to. She did not know the ladies earlier than they had been arrested however started sending them letters quickly afterwards due to her “outrage” at their case.

“This should not occur,” she stated. “That is why I come to each listening to.”

Members of the media had been allowed to briefly movie contained in the courtroom earlier than the trial acquired below method.

Berkovich and Petrichyuk had been locked contained in the glass cage, referred to as “the aquarium”, the place defendants are all the time positioned.

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The pair appeared relaxed as they often laughed and gestured to family members.

To her mom, Berkovich made a “cat” image – V-signs with the index and center fingers on each arms, with one behind the opposite.

“They appear nicely,” Berkovich’s mom stated. “They’re assured, brave, cheerful.”

She added: “This verdict does not depend upon us, on what occurs in courtroom, however on how the celebrities align.”

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