MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Moscow court announced on Tuesday that it had extended until March 10 the detention of a prominent Russian theater director and playwright, detained since last May for “apology of terrorism”.
Director Evgenia (Zhenya) Berkovich and playwright Svetlana Petriychuk are accused of defending terrorism in the award-winning play “Finist, the Brave Falcon,” which tells the story of Russian women who married Islamic State fighters .
Investigators opened the case against the two women last May for Petriychuk’s play, created in 2020 under Berkovich’s direction.
Since Russia sent its armed forces to Ukraine in 2022, Moscow has stepped up its crackdown on free speech and encouraged citizens to report anyone they suspect of disloyalty.
The detention of the two women sparked condemnation from several prominent Russian artists and cultural figures. The play won two national “Golden Mask” theater awards in 2022, and Berkovich also received a nomination for best director.
(Writing by Felix Light; editing by Gareth Jones)
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