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Russian Rapper Husky Released After Cancellation Of His 12-Day Jail Sentence

Updated

Rapper Dmitry Kuznetsov, known as Husky (right) , attends a court hearing in Krasnodar on November 22.

Russian rapper Husky was released from jail on November 26 after a court cancelled an earlier ruling imposing a 12-day sentence.

A lawyer for Husky, who has a wide following on YouTube, said on November 26 that his client was freed following the new ruling by the Pervomai District Court in the southern city of Krasnodar.

Husky, 25, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, is known for songs mocking the authorities and criticizing police brutality in Russia.

The court had sentenced him to jail for hooliganism on November 22.

The lawyer, Aleksei Avanesyan, wrote on Facebook earlier on November 26 that the court decided to reverse its earlier ruling.

The court did not immediately explain its decision to reverse the ruling.

Husky had been due to perform in Krasnodar on November 21 when prosecutors warned the club hosting the event that his act had elements of what they termed "extremism," and the show was moved to another location.

But authorities shut off power and Husky's fans poured outside the venue.

Videos posted online showed the rapper performing on top of a car, with fans chanting the lyrics, before police detained him.

Crowds of fans blocked the police vehicle, demanding Husky's release.

Police eventually persuaded them to disperse.

Russian authorities have in recent years used a vaguely worded law on extremism to pursue government critics.

Krasnodar police said that the owner of the vehicle on which Husky performed filed a complaint for property damage, a charge that may carry a longer jail term.

Husky said he was willing to pay compensation for any damage to the vehicle.

"I acted in such a way because I faced a situation when I felt an obligation to talk to the people who had bought tickets," he told the court on November 22.

A new wave of Russian rappers is widely credited for channeling young Russians' frustration with the political system and lack of economic prospects.

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