As you know, last week the Oktyabrsky District Court of Rostov-on-Don sentenced activist Anastasia Shevchenko to four years of probation. Thus, she became the first accused in Russia under the article on "carrying out the activities of an unwanted foreign organization". The prosecutor's office requested five years in prison for her. Shevchenko spent more than two years under house arrest, lost her daughter, and a hidden camera worked in her bedroom for four months - all because of participation in debates, a post on social networks and a flag with the word "tired" at a permitted rally.
Recall that the eldest daughter Shevchenko suffered from a congenital disease and lived in a boarding school for children with special needs. (Shevchenko has three children; 14-year-old Vlada and 7-year-old Misha lived with their mother).
“My eldest daughter is 17 years old, she is lying, she cannot eat independently and cannot be kept at home. The guardianship authorities themselves insisted that the daughter be in a special institution. They called me from the Zverevsky boarding school - my daughter was admitted to the Zverevsky hospital. With her diagnosis, any sore may become the last”, - Shevchenko told the “Caucasian Knot”, who asked the court to release her from house arrest.
The activist said that her request had not been considered in a week. She explained that she needed to give medicines and take care of a sick child, but the court did not heed these arguments and did not allow Shevchenko to visit her daughter in the boarding school.
On January 30, the day the oppositionist was charged, it became known that her daughter had been admitted to intensive care with obstructive bronchitis. The doctors assessed Alina's condition as critical. Only then did the investigator allow the accused to visit her daughter, but strictly until 18:00 on February 1. Shevchenko managed to say goodbye to her child, Alina died on January 31. Shevchenko was also able to attend the funeral with the permission of the investigator.
After the verdict, in an interview with RostovGazeta, Anastasia shared her plans for the future, and also talked about the support she felt during the entire trial:
- Were you ready for a probationary sentence?
- When the prosecutor's office asks for five years, there are two options: either you go to jail or not. I was ready for both options, but I was preparing for a real deadline. It is a psychologically difficult moment to prepare for a colony. Prepare the children, the mother, so that they can be as painless as possible... There was a difficult moment when no one could sleep, no one could think normally. Now I am so tired of all this. Of course, I am not satisfied with any guilty verdict, because I plead not guilty. I spoke about this in court. However, in order to appeal, we must see a conviction. We will get acquainted with the verdict after the holidays. The prosecutor's office can also appeal the verdict within ten days (until February 28). I cannot guess about the plans of the prosecutor's office.
- Tell us about the first feelings after the sentence.
- To be honest, I felt angry. I think this is a very dastardly sentence. Although, it would seem, they did not go to prison, the term is suspended and I will now return home with the children. But this is such an unfair sentence - to pass four years probation, a probationary period, and a ban on political activity. Harsh, in any case, the sentence.
- Did public support help you?
- Today I read postcards from all over the world that were brought to me for the verdict. There are 1818 pieces, about ten kilograms. If it was possible to organize some kind of exhibition or installation, this is an inspiring thing. People from all over the world write such touching things, when you read, you just can't give up and "break". The presence of Ksenia Sobchak at the verdict was not surprising, it was pleasant, but I was not surprised. Ksenia Anatolyevna, as my former employer (Anastasia Shevchenko headed the pre-election regional headquarters of Ksenia Sobchak), provided positive characteristics to the court. Of course, public support and resonance works. I would also like to note my defenders who worked with me professionally. We are constantly in touch, even after the suspended sentence. I want to express my deep gratitude to human rights defenders, in this case protection is very necessary.
- What do you feel on the outside?
- I lagged behind a little, but I will catch up quickly: how to use the phone, pay for purchases at the self-checkout, buy cinema tickets. Now my daughter and I have changed places - she patiently explains everything to me. Such "digital cretinism" I have. And, of course, the fear of people remains. I don't feel very comfortable when there are a lot of people around. I got used to being persecuted for a long time. Wildness. I get lost when I see a lot of people. It will pass. (Anastasia spent 2 years and 20 days under house arrest).
- How do you see your future?
- I am under recognizance not to leave and in any case will not be able to leave. I can travel around the country, but not leave Russia when the verdict takes effect. But I also haven't figured it out yet. I have not seen the text of the verdict, but there seems to be no prohibition on any activity. There are restrictions only in terms of mass events. I am looking for a job and will live where I can find a job. I worked as a journalist, in sales, taught English and French. I am looking through vacancies now, although it is difficult in this regard. It seems to me that I am a "favorite" of the law enforcement agencies and they will not stop "spying" on me.
- Tell us about your personal life.
- In my personal life, I am open. But I don’t use Tinder anymore, because the last time I went out on a date, they said this (boyfriend) was an intelligence man. I will learn to build relationships, there have been suggestions on Facebook, I'm in no hurry.