Nikita Zhuravel, a Volgograd resident who was arrested for “offending the feelings of religious believers” after burning a Quran, was sent to a pre-trial detention center in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, reports Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti.
According to RIA Novosti, Zhuravel was met by “outraged local residents” outside the pre-trial detention center, with some holding signs saying “Hands off the Quran” and “Our religion is our life.”
On May 21, authorities in Volgograd arrested local resident Nikita Zhuravel, who is 19 years old, on suspicion of setting a Quran on fire on camera in front of a mosque. The video clip that led to the arrest was shot no later than May 19 at a Volgograd mosque and was posted on “an Internet portal under the control of the Center for Informational and Psychological Operations of Ukraine’s Armed Forces,” reads the Investigative Committee’s announcement.
Zhuravel’s case was transferred to Chechnya’s investigative department by personal order from Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee. Russia’s justice minister, Konstantin Chuychenko suggested that after he is convicted, Zhuravel should be sent to prison in “a region with a predominantly Muslim population.”