Listen to this article Russian Dad Flees Jail After Daughter’s Anti-War Drawing
Alexei Moskalev, a 53-year-old single father from Russia, received a two-year jail term for discrediting the army by the court in Yefremov, located 320km south of Moscow. The case against Moskalev began after his 13-year-old daughter, Masha, made an anti-war drawing , which was reported to the police by her school. As a result, the family faced pressure from the authorities.
Background: Russian Dad Sentenced to Jail After Daughter’s Anti-War Drawing
Last year, Alexei Moskalev contacted a town councillor, Olga Podolskaya, to inform her of the pressure he and his daughter were facing due to her anti-war drawing. Masha’s mother does not live in the area and has no contact with the family. Additionally, last year, authorities fined Moskalev for making a comment about the war on a social media network. However, his flat was searched by the authorities in December, and he faced charges under the criminal code due to his previous conviction for a similar offense.
Russian Dad’s Daughter Sent to Children’s Home After Drawing Anti-War Picture
In early March, they sent Masha to a children’s home when the criminal case began. The local Juvenile Affairs Commission had already taken legal action to restrict Moskalev’s parental rights. Last week, authorities did not allow him to leave his house arrest to attend a preliminary hearing. Officials have officially tasked social services in Yefremov with looking after the girl.
Russian Father Accused of Criticizing the Army After Daughter’s Anti-War Drawing
Moskalev was accused of repeatedly criticizing the Russian army on social media. He had appeared in court the day before the verdict, but he was not in court for the verdict as he had escaped house arrest. Moskalev’s lawyer, Vladimir Biliyenko, told the BBC that he did not know where his client was.
Moskalev’s case has attracted international attention because of the authorities’ decision to remove his daughter from their home. Human rights group Memorial has recognized his case as that of a political prisoner, but Russia’s authorities have banned Memorial itself.
Reaction to the Verdict
“I’m in shock,” Yefremov town councillor Olga Podolskaya said. “A prison sentence for expressing your opinion is a terrible thing. A two-year jail term is a nightmare.” Moskalev’s lawyer, Vladimir Biliyenko, said, “To say I’m surprised would be an understatement. I’ve never seen anything like it. No client of mine has ever gone missing like this. I don’t know when he fled, or if he has.”
Daughter’s Words of Support
Ahead of the verdict, Vladimir Biliyenko visited the children’s home where Masha had spent most of the month. The director told him that the girl had gone to a children’s cooking festival and had passed on two drawings and a letter she had written to her father. The letter had the words “Papa, you’re my hero.” Mr. Biliyenko spread the drawings on a table in court.
In conclusion, the case of Alexei Moskalev and his daughter Masha has received international attention due to the authorities’ decision to remove the girl from their home. The court sentenced Moskalev to two years in jail for discrediting the army, and as a result, his daughter is under the care of social services. Memorial, a human rights group banned by Russia’s authorities, has recognized the case as that of a political prisoner.
Human rights groups are concerned about the case of Alexei Moskalev, viewing it as part of a wider crackdown on freedom of expression in Russia. Additionally, the removal of Moskalev’s daughter from their home and placement in a children’s home has garnered international attention. Authorities convicted Moskalev for discrediting the army after he criticized the military, making him the latest Russian to receive a jail term for this offense. As a result, officials do not know Moskalev’s current whereabouts, and there is concern for his and his daughter’s safety.