Russian human rights activist Andrei Ivashev was sentenced to six years in prison on extremism charges for a series of social media comments, the independent 7×7 media outlet reported Thursday.
Ivashev, 62, is well known in the northern republic of Komi for his criticism of the region’s Governor Vladimir Uyba, as well as one-man pickets in support of freedom of assembly.
A court in the Arctic city of Vorkuta ruled that three comments posted by Ivashev on the social media network VKontakte in 2020 constituted a call to murder Uyba.
Ivashev maintains his innocence and believes his case is related to his human rights work, according to 7×7.
A wartime crackdown on dissent in Russia has increasingly seen opposition activists handed draconian prison sentences on charges that supporters say are trumped-up — or revenge for their political positions.
In addition to imprisonment, the court handed Ivashev a $1,250 fine.
Prosecutors had requested a prison sentence of eight years.
Ivashev was detained in December 2021 on different criminal charges — incitement to hatred and contempt of court — over the social media comments.
Last year, investigators opened an additional criminal case on charges of calling for the governor’s assassination.