09 July 2024

Finist the Brave Falcon

A Russian playwright and theatre director were sentenced to six years in a penal colony yesterday, after being found guilty of justifying terrorism. The charges relate to the play Finist the Brave Falcon (Финист Ясный сокол), written by Svetlana Petriichuk and directed by Zhenya Berkovich, in which a Russian woman marries an Islamic State fighter in Syria.

Berkovich and Petriichuk were arrested in Moscow more than a year ago, and have been held in custody ever since. They faced a maximum of seven years in prison, and their six-year sentence takes into account the time they have already spent in detention while awaiting trial. Both women pleaded not guilty, and plan to appeal the verdict. The award-winning play, whose title comes from a Russian folk tale, was first performed in 2019.

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