The Rostov Regional Court sentenced opera singer Vadim Cheldiev to 10 years in prison for announcing a rally against covid restrictions in Vladikavkaz in the spring of 2020. It is reported by "Osnova".
According to investigators, in the spring of 2020, a native of North Ossetia, Cheldiev, published announcements of a rally on his Telegram channel, in which he called on fellow countrymen to come to a “people's gathering” in Vladikavkaz to protest against local authorities. The singer himself was then in St. Petersburg.
The action was attended by about one and a half thousand people, it ended with clashes between the participants and the security forces and mass detentions. After that, Cheldiev was accused of organizing mass riots (part 1 of article 212 of the Criminal Code) and inciting extremism.
Before the rally, the singer was charged with “fake news” because of a post about the coronavirus, was detained and escorted from St. Petersburg to Vladikavkaz. According to investigators, on the way from the Mineralnye Vody airport, Cheldiev allegedly punched one of the security officials, and a new case was opened against him - about an attack on a policeman. After his arrest, he spent more than two years in a pre-trial detention center.
Other defendants in the case, Arsen Besolov and Ramis Chirkinov, were sentenced to 8 years. They are accused only of organizing riots. Most of those detained at the rally against restrictions due to the pandemic were placed under administrative arrest by the courts. More than 20 people received real terms on charges of participating in the riots and attacking the security forces.