Director of Ukrainian library in Moscow goes on trial for 'extremism'


A Moscow court is set to hold the first hearing of the case of Natalia Sharina – a director of Ukrainian library in Moscow, who was arrested last year on extremism charges. Sharina's lawyer Ivan Pavlov voiced hope that the trial would be public.

Besides ceremonial procedures, such as identification of the defendant and clarification of her rights, state prosecutors are to present charges they have brought against the librarian.

"We will talk legal language tomorrow, but I would use the language of botany to describe my attitude to the prosecution – "immature fruit of absurdity and cynicism," Pavlov said.

Russia's Security Service (FSB) ransacked the Library of Ukrainian literature in Moscow and detained its director on October 28, 2015.

Since then Natalia Sharina has been put under house arrest for distributing among the library's visitors ‘extremist books and Russophobic texts.'

In spring this year another charge was brought up against the library's director – she was accused of embezzlement of funds.

The case against the 58-year-old librarian was widely condemned as politically motivated because of the tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Human rights organisations have called on the Russian authorities to release Natalia Sharina, who faces up to 10 years in prison.


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