Russia on Monday freed an artist who nailed his testicles between cobblestones on Red Square after a court ruled that the police report on his protest contained errors.
Radical artist Pyotr Pavlensky on Sunday stripped naked on Red Square and drove a nail through his testicles into the ground outside the Lenin Mausoleum to protest police repression.
Pavlensky spent the night in a police station after being treated in a central Moscow clinic. Police drove him to a district court for a hearing on Monday, but then unexpectedly released him.
“The court has returned the papers to the chief of the Kitai-Gorod Police District to remove errors,” Tverskoi District Court spokeswoman Yekaterina Korotova told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
The judge ruled that the police report failed to show that Pavlensky had committed any offense, his lawyer, Dinar Idrisov, told TV Rain.
“Practically she admitted that the case was opened against Pavlensky without the offense being committed. That means in fact he was detained on Red Square illegally and without basis,” Idrisov said.
Police had accused Pavlensky of minor hooliganism, which covers public swearing and causing damage to property, his lawyers said.
Pavlensky could still face a sentence of 15 days in police cells if police send a fresh report to the court and he is found guilty, but his lawyers said this was unlikely.
The artist told TV Rain outside the court: “I wanted primarily to talk about arbitrary rule, and about the fact that we are now on the verge of a police state.”