MOSCOW, August 14 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) - Publicist Yury Mukhin filed an appeal against a 4-year suspended sentence he received for organizing an extremist group, spokesperson of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow Anastasia Dzyurko told RAPSI on Monday.

Other defendants have not appealed the sentence yet, the court’s representative added.

On August 10, four members of the Initiative Group to Campaign for a Referendum for Responsible Government, RBC news agency journalist Alexander Sokolov, publicist Yury Mukhin, civil activists Kirill Barabash and Valery Parfyonov were convicted and sentenced. Sokolov was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, while Barabash and Parfyonov were given 4 years behind bars.  Barabash was also stripped of a lieutenant colonel rank. Mukhin received a 4-year suspended term and additional 4 years of probation.

The defendants are indeed members of the Initiative Group to Campaign for a Referendum for Responsible Government, which, the authorities believe, is the successor of earlier banned People’s Will Army (PWA), Mukhin told RAPSI earlier.

However, the action group aiming to organize the referendum was established yet in 2010, he said.

Sokolov, Parfyonov, and Barabash are charged with continuing to run the prohibited in 2010 People’s Will Army, earlier headed by Mukhin. After the PWA was banned, the accused founded the Referendum Initiative Group seeking to make the authorities directly answerable to the people through changing the country’s Constitution.

Nevertheless, the prosecution says that in fact Mukhin and his supporters have attempted to destabilize the political situation in Russia and accomplish a regime change with illegal means.

In 1995, Yury Mukhin, a proponent of radical change, founded the Duel newspaper, which attempted to reach out to Russian conservatives and far left. The newspaper was banned in 2009 on grounds of extremism.