MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian judge decided not to consider criminal charges Monday against a shock artist who nailed his scrotum to Moscow’s Red Square.
Judge Yelena Stashina said that the police documents didn't show that performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky had broken the law when he stripped naked and nailed his testicles to the cobblestones in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral on Sunday.
Police had asked the Tver Court in Moscow to charge Pavlensky with petty hooliganism, which in Russia is a violation of public order that expresses clear disrespect for society and humiliates or harasses citizens or damages property.
An assistant to Pavlensky told Russian news agency Rosbalt that police will either fine the artist up to 1,000 rubles ($33) and release him, or will prolong his detention and send him back to court after preparing new documents against him.
Pavlensky was detained and briefly hospitalized for Sunday’s stunt, which he said he carried out to protest apathy and political indifference in Russian society.
The shock artist is no stranger to using bizarre body stunts to draw attention. In 2012, he sewed his mouth shut to support jailed shock rockers from the Russian punk group Pussy Riot. He also wrapped his naked body in barbed wire outside a government building in St. Petersburg in May to protest what he called Russia’s repressive regime.