Russian Court Arrests Activist For YouTube Show Mocking Putin, Close Associates

A court in the Russian republic of Tatarstan arrested a local civil rights activist on suspicion of promoting terrorism after he mocked President Vladimir Putin and two of his close associates in a YouTube video.

Karim Yamadayev, a former police officer, was arrested on January 11 for a video he posted last month on his YouTube channel called Judge Gramm, Interfax reported.

If found guilty, Yamadayev faces up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of 1 million rubles ($16,390).

The opposition activist told RFE/RL on January 3 that police had searched his home in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, confiscating his computers, payment cards, and scripts for his show.

The December 29 video features Yamadayev, dressed as a judge, reading death sentences to two men whose heads are covered with black sacks. A white sign hangs from their necks with the names “Dmitry Peskov” and “Igor Sechin” respectively.

Peskov is Putin’s long-serving press spokesman while Sechin is the powerful chief of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft.

Another man in the show portrays a third defendant who also has his head covered with a black sack and a sign with the name “Vladimir Putin.”

Two days after the online show was published, Yamadayev was detained and questioned about the video.

His arrest period is until February 29 and could be extended.

Based on reporting by Interfax
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