Various reports are coming out claiming that Russian authorities have reduced the charges against the Arctic Sunrise activists from piracy to hooliganism.
Russia’s RT here reports the lesser hooliganism charge carries a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.
‘The actions of those involved in the criminal case have been reclassified to the charge of hooliganism,’ the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, told the RIA Novosti news agency.”
There seem to be conflicting claims on how long the activists may have to spend time in jail if convicted of hooliganism. CTV news here reports that the charge carries 15 days in prison only.
The piracy charges carry a 15-year prison term, while hooliganism is usually punished by 15 days in jail or a fine.”
That is likely very inaccurate. Back in the 1980s a young nutjob German pilot Matthias Rust famously flew his small Cessna through then Soviet airspace and landed on Red Square in Moscow, embarrassing the Soviet empire. For that deed he was, according to Wikipedia, “sentenced to four years in a general-regime labor camp for hooliganism, disregard of aviation laws and breaching of the Soviet border. He was never transferred to a labor camp and instead served his time at the high security Lefortovo temporary detention facility in Moscow. Two months later, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to sign a treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe, and the Supreme Soviet ordered Rust to be released in August 1988 as a goodwill gesture to the West.”
Should the activists be convicted of hooliganism, they’ll probably be sentenced to a couple of years and be out within a year or so. That probably won’t be long enough to teach a number of them a lesson. In fact, expect them to be given a hero’s welcome when they return. Barf! gag!