Rammstein React to Russian Activist Being Imprisoned for Sharing Music Video
Rammstein guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe has reacted to the guilty verdict against Russian activist Andrei Borovikov. The anti-Putin activist was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison yesterday (April 29) for sharing Rammstein’s x-rated music video for “Pussy” on social media.
Borovikov allegedly saved the "Pussy" clip in the "videos" section of his personal VKontakte (the Russian equivalent of Facebook) account in 2014. The pornographic music video, released in 2009, depicts uncensored sex scenes with the heads of Rammstein members superimposed on the bodies of adult film actors. BBC notes that hundreds of reposts of the "Pussy" video remain on VKontakte. BBC could find no other instances of VKontakte users being criminally charged for sharing the video.
"The accusation is based on the testimony of a police informant who invited Borovikov to watch the saved video together, as well as on the conclusions of the examination ordered by the investigation, which did not find artistic value in the frank clip of the world famous group," writes news source Novaya Gazeta.
“I am aware of the Andrey Borovikov case,” Kruspe posted to Instagram. “According to media reports, a lawsuit against him for sharing the Rammstein video ‘Pussy’ on Russian social networks. I very much regret that Andrey Borovikov has been sentenced to imprisonment for this.”
He continues, “The harshness of this sentence is shocking. Rammstein have always stood up for the freedom of art as a guaranteed basic right of all people.”
The ruling against Borovikov is believed to be politically motivated, as he was once a coordinator for Alexei Navalny, one of Vladimir Putin’s political enemies. The Russian government is currently cracking down on the Navalny movement, arresting protestors and strong-arming the Navalny’s allies into closing their offices.
“It is blatantly obvious that [Borovikov] is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” says Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director. “The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiraling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics,” Zviagina elaborated to Radio Free Europe.
Navalny, leader of the Russia of the Future party and a founding member of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, is currently imprisoned in a corrective labor colony and has reportedly been subject to torture by Russian authorities.