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Provocative Artist Freed In Novosibirsk

Artem Loskutov
Artem Loskutov
NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia -- A Novosibirsk Oblast court in has released an artist from pretrial detention today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Artem Loskutov, an organizer of the annual nontraditional self-expression artistic event "Monstration," was arrested last month in the central Russian city for illegal drug possession.

Police also suspect him of involvement in preparing "extremist and terrorist acts."

His lawyer, Valentina Demidenko, and colleagues say the charges against him are politically motivated.

After Loskutov's arrest on May 15, several mass gatherings and demonstrations in support of him were held in Novosibirsk, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other Russian cities.