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Rebecca Ziba: Zambian Student Arrested in Russia for Dancing at War Memorial



Rebecca Ziba is a 21-year-old Zambian student who was arrested in Russia for “rehabilitating Nazism” by dancing at a war memorial. An Instagram video shows Rebecca dancing at Khanty-Mansiysk Memorial of Glory which honors those who lost their lives fighting Nazi Germany during WWII and after.

What was she up to?

Rebecca Ziba

According to Russian investigators, Ziba reportedly performed an offensive dance outside a memorial and posted an insulting caption which read, “Shaking B*tty for the Dead: Sure they’re Sleeping Well Tonight.” Soon after uploading it online she was immediately removed by authorities as their actions saw it as insulting and disrespecting a symbol of Russian military glory.

Ziba was charged under Part 4 of Article 354 of the Russian Criminal Code, which criminalises individuals for “rehabilitating Nazism”.12 This provision, introduced in 2014, prohibits any forms of communication which legitimize or justify Nazi crimes as determined by Nuremberg Tribunal as well as disrespect memorial days related to Russia’s defense or celebrate any celebration days that violate it; furthermore this statute covers any act which shows disrespect towards days commemorating military glory or memorial days related to Russia’s defense.

Maximum penalties for this offense include three years in jail and up to 3 million roubles (about EUR34,430) as a fine.

What Did She Say?

Rebecca Ziba

The Russian Investigative Committee released a video showing Ziba being interviewed in what appears to be an interrogation room where she confesses and apologizes for her actions, speaking English as she offered an apology statement in which she apologizes profusely.Unknown are the circumstances surrounding her detention and whether or not she had access to legal representation.

What have her fellow citizens responded with in response?

Zambia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Ziba had been released on bail and her case transferred to Khanty-Mansiysk prosecutors for prosecution. Euronews attempted to contact the Zambian Embassy in Moscow.

FAQ: The Ultimate Guide to Your Questions

Q: What exactly did she do?

A: She posted an Instagram video featuring herself dancing near Khanty-Mansiysk Memorial of Glory as proof.

Q: What Are My Charges?

A: She was charged under Article 354.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia, which provides punishments for individuals found rehabilitating Nazism. If found guilty, three years imprisonment and/or up to 3 million roubles (about EUR34,430 in fines) could be assessed as punishments.

Q: What did she say?

A: In a video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, Ziba admitted and apologized for her actions. Zambia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Ziba had been released on bail and her case would now be transferred for prosecution in Khanty-Mansiysk.

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