Protester flees Russia to avoid jail

18 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

A Russian protester who faces up to five years in prison for throwing a plastic bottle at police said Thursday he fled the country amid an unrelenting crackdown on the opposition, reports AFP. Aidar Gubaidulin, a 26-year-old programmer, was among more than a dozen people who were arrested following anti-government protests demanding fair elections this summer.

He fled the country this week after realising he could soon be given a lengthy jail term, his lawyer Maxim Pashkov told AFP.

“This decision did not come easy to me but the events of the last few days left me no choice,” Gubaidulin said on Facebook.

“I’ve left the country and will not return anytime soon.” Gubaidulin, who tossed an empty plastic bottle towards police at a July rally but did not hit anyone, was arrested and charged with mass unrest.