Rafail Shepelev : “Left-wing Activist Tricked by Russian Security Services Found in Russian Detention Center”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Left-wing activist Rafail Shepelev, who mysteriously disappeared in Georgia last month, has resurfaced at a pre-trial detention facility in central Russia, according to human rights organization Perviy Otdel. Shepelev was reportedly tricked by Russian security services into entering the breakaway region of South Ossetia, from where he was taken to Russia and charged with terrorism.

The activist had been living in exile for the past two years before his sudden disappearance in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 12. After a month-long search, Shepelev was eventually found inside a detention center in southern Russia, facing unspecified criminal charges.

Perviy Otdel has condemned the actions of the Russian law enforcement agencies, asserting that Shepelev was a victim of their provocation. The organization claims that he was lured into South Ossetia under false pretenses, only to be apprehended and transported to Russia.

In a series of events spanning 45 days, Shepelev was reportedly transported to seven different Russian cities before finally being taken to a pre-trial detention center in Nizhny Tagil, located in central Russia’s Sverdlovsk region. The activist now faces severe charges, including participating in the activities of a terrorist organization, which can carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Additionally, he may face up to seven years for justifying terrorism.

Shepelev’s affiliation with Artpodgotovka, a left-wing ultranationalist opposition group led by exiled video blogger Vyacheslav Maltsev, has come under scrutiny. Russian authorities banned Artpodgotovka as an extremist organization in 2017 after Maltsev organized an anti-government rally on the centenary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

As the case unfolds, human rights organizations continue to monitor Shepelev’s situation closely. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance and subsequent detention raise concerns about the tactics employed by Russian security services and their impact on political activists in the region.

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