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Frenchman Writes Book On Prison Time, Escape From Russia After 'Falsified' Pedophilia Conviction


Yoann Barbereau attends a news conference in Nantes, France, on November 10, 2017.

A French national who fled Russia to escape a 15-year prison sentence on pedophilia charges he said were "based on evidence that was falsified," has written a book about his experience in a Siberian pretrial holding cell and harrowing escape.

Yoann Barbereau, the former Irkutsk branch director of the nonprofit Alliance Francaise cultural organization, announced on his Facebook page that the book will be published on February 12, 2020.

A synopsis of the book published on Amazon and titled, Dans Les Geoles De Siberie (In The Jails Of Siberia), says the author was framed by fake "kompromat," or compromising material in Russian.

He is still wanted in Russia on the child-pornography charges and for fleeing the country.

In an interview with RFE/RL in 2017, Barbereau accused Russian computer hackers and law enforcement of falsifying evidence when they published naked pictures of him and his 5-year-old daughter sitting on a couch.

Barbereau said the images captured an innocent moment after a shower, the same opinion that his former wife, Darya Nikolenko, shares. She said the pictures portrayed a private family moment and were not pornographic.

Barbereau was arrested in February 2015 and spent 10 weeks in a Siberian detention center, followed by 20 days at a Russian psychiatric clinic. The next 16 months were spent under house arrest.

Just before he was convicted in September 2016, Barbereau removed an electronic tracking device and wrapped it in aluminum foil.

To throw the authorities off his trail, Barbereau placed his mobile phone on a bus destined for Mongolia.

He found his way to Moscow using a long-distance carpooling service and headed straight for the French Embassy.

Refuge was given but he couldn't leave the embassy. So after 14 months, Barbereau slipped out in early autumn, eventually sneaking across the border into a Baltic state he declined to name.

From there he made it to France.

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    RFE/RL's Radio Svoboda is the leading international broadcaster in Russia. As Russia witnesses increasing control of the media by state authorities, Radio Svoboda has become a key forum for those who lack access to other means of free expression.

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