Belarus extradites Russian single father threatened with prison for his anti-war remarks

A Russian single father detained in Minsk after fleeing house arrest in late March has been extradited to Russia, independent rights organization OVD-Info has announced. reported Wednesday, quoting a Belarusian activist.

Alexei Moskalev was handed over a two-year prison sentence at the end of last month by a court in the Tula region for “discrediting” the Russian military for anti-war comments he made on social media.

However, just before sentencing, the 53-year-old leak assigned to residence, to be apprehended a few days later by the authorities of Minsk, the Belarusian capital.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later said that Moskalev was awaiting extradition to Russia in a detention center in Zhodzina, a town about 50 kilometers northwest of Minsk.

News of the man’s extradition came on Wednesday after a Belarusian civil rights activist tried to meet him, OVD-Info reported.

Moskalev was arrested after his daughter, 13-year-old Maria Moskaleva, drew an anti-war picture during a school art lesson. Authorities took Moskaleva away from her father and placed her in a juvenile detention center in her hometown of Yefremov in the Tula region.

Moskalev had been to appear appeared in Tula court last Thursday for a hearing that was to see him deprived of custody of his daughter, but he did not show up for the hearing.

On April 6, Moskaleva was handed over to her estranged mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in over seven years.

The Kremlin defended the case against Moskalev, describing his parenthood as “deplorable”.

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