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Putin Pardons Woman Jailed For SMS Messaging During Russia-Georgia War

  • RFE/RL

Oksana Sevastidi (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned a woman who was convicted of high treason for sending a text message to a friend in Georgia during the brief August 2008 Russian-Georgian war.

Putin's decree pardoning Oksana Sevastidi was posted on the Russian government's official legal website on March 7.

According to the document, Sevastidi is to be released on March 12.

Sevastidi's lawyer Ivan Pavlov welcomed Putin's clemency decree and vowed to work on his client's full exoneration and revoking of her verdict.

Sevastidi, 46, was sentenced to seven years in prison in March 2016 for texting in 2008 about a Russian train full of military equipment heading toward the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia during the brief war between Russia and Georgia.

Human rights activists have said the case was politically motivated.

Sevastidi's amnesty come a day after the release of Yevgenia Chudnovets, a Russia kindergarten teacher jailed for reposting an online child-abuse video in order to raise awareness of the case with the public and with Russian authorities.

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