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Russian artist Pavlensky declared 'sane' after spy agency protest
This file photo taken on February 26, 2016 shows Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky smiling during a hearing at a court in Moscow. Russian investigators have altered the charge against a performance artist for torching the door of the FSB security service's headquarters from vandalism to "damaging a cultural heritage site," his lawyer said on March 29. DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV / AFP.


MOSCOW (AFP).- Radical Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky, famous for protest performances that involve intense physical suffering, has been declared sane after a month in psychiatric hospital, he said Thursday.

The 32-year-old artist, who is best known for nailing his scrotum to the cobbles of Red Square, was detained in November after setting fire to the front doors of the headquarters of the FSB security services in a protest over state "terrorism."

Speaking to reporters at a Moscow courthouse about his psychiatric evaluation, he was quoted by state TASS agency as declaring: "The results of the tests are in my favour".

Pavlensky faces up to three years in prison over his arson attack on the giant wooden doors of the FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB. 

He is being kept in solitary confinement in a Moscow prison, his partner wrote on Facebook.

The district court on Thursday extended his detention until May 5, declaring him to be a flight risk.

Pavlensky's previous painful performances have included sewing his lips together and wrapping himself in barbed wire.

The Serbsky psychiatric hospital, where he underwent a battery of tests, was notorious in the Soviet era for issuing political dissidents with false diagnoses of psychiatric illnesses.

A law enforcement source confirmed to TASS that "experts found Pavlensky does not suffer from any psychiatric illness and at the moment of the crime was responsible for his actions and realised their consequences."

Pavlensky, who has called the FSB an "organisation of executioners" in court dismissed the charges against him as meaningless. 

He also repeated his demand that the judge change the charges to terrorism, in line with the charges brought against Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov who was last year convicted of terrorism for arson attacks on the offices of a pro-Kremlin party in Crimea.

Defence lawyer Olga Dinze said the damage Pavlensky caused to the FSB headquarters had been valued at 480,000 rubles ($7,150).



© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse






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