A court in Kansk has announced a verdict in the case of the three Kansk teens, Nikita Uvarov, Bogdan Andreyev and Denis Mihailenko.
The three middle school boys, all 14 years old at the time, were arrested in June 2020 in Kansk when putting up a leaflet in support of Azat Miftakhov on the wall of a local FSB office.
As a result of that arrest, the FSB charged them with various trumped up terrorism offenses.
Numerous media outlets reported that one of the key pieces of “evidence” against the boys was a virtual model of an FSB building that they built in the computer game Minecraft where they were blowing it up.
Although the boys are minors and civilians, they were tried by a military court in a closed proceedings.
The court found Nikita Uvarov guilty of “training for terrorism” and sentenced him to five years imprisonment in a penal colony. Similar to Azat Miftakhov, Uvarov denied any guilt from the start.
The other two boys, who admitted some guilt during the initial arrest under coercion, received suspended sentences of four and three years.
Nikita Uvarov, who had already spent a year in pretrial confinement before being released by an appeal court, was taken back into custody in the courtroom after the verdict was read.
The Kansk case harkens to the darkest period of 1930s in the Russian history when Stalin’s Great Terror sent millions to the Gulag.
We condemn this cruel, grotesque and unjust verdict and call for an immediate and unconditional release of Nikita Uvarov.
Political persecution of children is a barbaric and shameful practice that has no place in modern civilized society.
The Kansk case verdict comes on the heels of a recent report that Azat Miftakhov himself, who is currently serving his 6-year prison sentence at a colony in Omutninsk, has been denied access by the censors to a basic mathematical textbook. All signs indicate that political repression by Putin’s regime continues to intensify. The world should not look away.