“I am freer than you”. These were the defiant words of St. Petersburg artist Sasha Skochilenko as she was sentenced for five tiny pieces of paper, providing details about Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine.
She used the five pieces of paper in question to replace price tags in a grocery store.
Among other things, she said in court, that [emphasis mine]
[…] I am unable to understand why we need military operations. Why are we doing this? Military actions shorten life. Military actions mean death.
You can call it anything you want. You can say I was mistaken, misled, or brainwashed. But I always stick to my opinion, my truth.
I don’t know anyone other than the state prosecutor who wants to put me in prison.
In fact, I think that deep down even the state prosecutor doesn’t want this. I think he became a prosecutor to imprison real criminals and miscreants — murderers, rapists, pedophiles.
You are worried about your career […] to give your children or your future children a head start. But what will you tell them? Will you tell them how you sent to prison an ailing woman because of five tiny pieces of paper?
Even though I am behind bars, I am freer than you. […] I am not afraid that I won’t have a dazzling career or of appearing funny, vulnerable, or strange. I’m not afraid of seeming different from other people. Maybe that is why the state fears me and others like me so much and keeps me in a cage like a dangerous animal.
What an incredibly brave woman. What a morally bankrupt state it is that imprisons someone for this “crime”.