France: Theatre artists demand release of Russian director Serebrennikov

Theatre actors and directors gathered at the Theater of Chaillot, in Paris, Sunday, to call for the immediate release of Russian stage, theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who is currently under house arrest following charges of embezzlement. The French artists stood together in front of the press, holding a banner, reading in Russian, English, and French «We are here, Kirill... Еще Serebrennikov, freedom.» Director of the National Dramatic Centre of Normandie-Rouen David Bobee, who had worked with Serebrennikov, explained that «the goal of this gathering is to alarm public opinion here in France; to ask the media to talk about the danger to freedom of creation in Russia; to participate in supporting this social movement all around the word; to ask our diplomats to intervene and discuss it, and to ask for the immediate release of Kirill Serebrennikov — right now — and his team as well.» Bobee went on to say that «Kirill [got in] trouble for what he does, for the freedom that exists in his shows.» The artistic director of the Gogol Centre theatre was charged with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.18 million; €996,108) of state funds allocated for the project ‘Platform’ between 2011-2014. If found guilty, Serebrennikov could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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