The chairman of Russia’s Human Rights Council shared his thoughts on the crime and its punishment

The sentencing of a 19-year-old to four years behind bars for urinating on a portrait honoring a Russian WWII veteran is disproportionate to the crime he committed, the chief of the country’s Human Rights Council has said.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Valery Fadeev claimed that “the balance between the severity of crimes and punishment began to break down in judicial proceedings. They should have given him a month of compulsory work – to take out pots, for example, but here we have four years in a penal colony. This is too much.”

According to him, there is a “misbalance” in Russia between penalties for committing illegal acts. “They can hand out five years for murder, and four years for p*ssing in the wrong place,” he said.

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Four years’ prison time for urinating on WW2 veteran’s portrait

Last week, Matvey Yuferov was slapped with a four-year prison sentence by a court in Moscow after being found guilty of “rehabilitating Nazism.” According to the prosecution, on the night of November 25, the young man asked his friend to record him urinating on a sign with the photo of Anatoly Frolov, a decorated World War II veteran, then posted the clip online.

Yuferov quickly took the footage down after it was posted, and also filmed an apology video. He was detained shortly afterwards. The young man, who studies at the capital’s Russian State University for the Humanities, claimed he was drunk and said that he does not hold Nazi or extremist views.

Russia toughened the law on the rehabilitation of Nazism earlier this year, shortly after opposition figure Alexey Navalny was tried for defaming a 95-year-old former Red Army soldier. Under the new legislation, humiliating the dignity or honor of veterans could be punishable with up to five years in prison.

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