2010-10-04 12:11:00

Punishment of Forbidden Art exhibit organizers comes into force

Moscow, October 4, Interfax - The Moscow City Court on Monday upheld the sentence to the organizers of the Forbidden Art 2006 exhibit, who were fined for fanning religious hatred.

The court declined the cassation appeal filed by Yury Samodurov, former director of the Sakharov Museum and Public Center, and Andrey Yerofeyev, former head of the newest tendencies department of the Tretyakov Gallery, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

The sentence has now taken legal force and the organizers will have to pay the fines.

The convicts' lawyer Anna Stavitskaya told reporters after the hearing she intends to contest the sentence in the European Court of Human Rights.

"We believe there is no point in filing an appeal with a higher court. We plan to go straight to the European Court," she said.

The defendants' lawyers had asked the court to reverse the sentence and close the criminal case. The prosecutor, in turn, insisted that the appeal be declined and the sentence be upheld.

According to the prosecutor, Samodurov and Yerofeyev organized the Forbidden Art 2006 show at the Sakharov center on March 7-31, 2007. The prosecution believes that the exhibition presented images humiliating for the Christian religion and believers.

Samodurov was sentenced to pay a 200,000 ruble fine and Yerofeyev to pay a 150,000 ruble fine.

Earlier, Samodurov had been tried for a similar crime and sentenced by the Moscow Tagansky District Court to a fine of 100,000 rubles in 2005. The conviction was later expunged.