Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (19 April) on the extension of director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest:
I am very disappointed by the further extension of the house arrest of internationally renowned theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who was arrested in August 2017. The fact that his house arrest has been constantly extended for eight months and will now continue until 19 July cannot be commensurate with the rule of law. I call for greater transparency with regard to the details of the allegations, which I have so far failed to comprehend.
In the present situation, we need more and not less dialogue with Russia. Mr Serebrennikov is a pillar of German-Russian cultural cooperation. A further extension or indeed a conviction would have a long-term negative impact on this dialogue.
Renowned international theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov was arrested in St Petersburg on 22 August 2017 on charges of embezzling state funds. On 23 August 2017, he was placed under house arrest by the competent court until 19 October 2017 and forbidden from having any outside contact. His house arrest has since been extended to 19 July 2018. The general director of Serebrennikov’s theatre production company Seventh Studio Yuri Itin and the director of the Russian Academic Youth Theatre Sofia Apfelbaum are likewise still under house arrest while producer Alexei Malobrodsky is being held in custody.