Sunday, April 14, 2024

Appellate Courts Lengthening of Sentences in Political Cases Sends Chilling Message to All Russians, Shlosberg Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 12 – Decisions by Russian appellate courts to lengthen the sentences initially imposed Lilya Chanyshev, Boris Kagarlitsky, and Oleg Orlov are part of disturbing effort by the Kremlin to sent a disturbing and repressive message to all Russians, according to opposition politician and commentator Lev Shlosberg.

            On the one hand, it shows that the powers that be “control the decisions of courts even after they have ruled; and on the other, it highlights the reality that someone on top now has the power not only to direct court decisions but to make them even tougher if the Kremlin wants that outcome (

            The Putin regime has not yet returned to a period of mass executions, Shlosberg notes; and so it is lengthening the terms and worsening the conditions of detention as a surrogate, confident that in the information age, that will work. After all, when “one person is convicted, the fear that inspires will paralyze millions.”

            The cruelty of the regime is thus in clear view because it shows that the regime reserves to itself the right to declare that in this or that case, the courts “didn’t impose” enough of a sentence or severe enough conditions. And that cruelty could easily be extended beyond the political to the population as a whole.

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