Campaign diary

Activist jailed for 25 days for inflatable duck


Vesna activists with their duck in St. Petersburg on January 28. Photo: Alexandra Polukeyeva/Rosbalt

by Sarah Hurst

St. Petersburg activist from the Vesna group Artem Goncharenko has been sentenced to 25 days in prison for “repeated violations of the rules of holding an action” for displaying a giant inflatable duck in the window of a flat during the January 28 protests organised by Alexei Navalny. The duck has been a symbol of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev’s alleged corruption since Navalny produced a video that drew attention to the duck house on a pond on his estate.

Goncharenko’s charge sheet states that he and the activists he was with shouted the slogans “Putin’s a thief!” and “Same sex marriages are better than corruption!”

Goncharenko was detained yesterday in connection with his January 28 action, as he was attempting to participate in the march in memory of Boris Nemtsov. He was held overnight at a police station. Goncharenko and fellow activists had waved from the windows of a building where the duck was positioned and put up a sign that said “The police are waiting for us.”

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