Russian Artist Arrested for Putting Putin in a Dress

Putin in a dress.  Alexander ShchednovAn artist in the south-western city of Voronezh was arrested and questioned by police over a photo-collage of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wearing a dress.  Alexander Shchednov, who is also an opposition activist, was detained on June 11th as he tried to hang collages of Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev in front of the Voronezh town hall.

Yelena Dudukina of the Voronezh-Chernozem human rights group reported Shchednov’s arrest to the online newspaper.

According to Dudukina, the officers who detained Shchednov first demanded a bribe, and threatened to create problems for Shchednov at his university.  When the activist refused, he was taken in for questioning and held overnight.

During his detention, Shchednov was interrogated for several hours by officers from the local Federal Security Service (FSB).  Dudukina said that the agents resorted to physical force during the questioning.  Law enforcement also searched the artist’s home, confiscating other collages and artwork he had created.

Before he was released on June 12th, Shchednov was charged for “obscene speech in a public place.”

The artist will now stand trial on June 15th.