Ilya Farber, jailed Russian-Jewish teacher, expected to be released next year

( The National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia (NCSJ) has welcomed a Russian regional court’s decision to reduce the prison sentence of Ilya Farber, a former painter and school teacher who was jailed for bribery.

llya Farber. Credit: The Russian Jewish Congress

Farber’s sentence was recently reduced from seven to three years, and he is expected to be freed next year, reported RIA Novosti.

“The release of Ilya Farber was a long time coming. Unfortunately, both of his trails were marred by hints of overt anti-Semitism. NCSJ is glad Mr. Faber will be reunited with his family,” NCSJ Executive Director Mark B. Levin told

The Kremlin’s human rights council had called Farber’s original sentence “too harsh,” according to the Moscow Times. Farber pleaded not guilty, and the Russian Supreme Court had overturned his first conviction.

A remark made by the prosecutor during Farber’s first trial in 2012—“Can a person with the last name Farber truly help a village for free?”—was perceived as evidence for anti-Semitic undertones in the case.

“We most dislike currently is that this prosecutor was not punished,” Matvey Chlenov, deputy executive for the Russian Jewish Congress, told in August.

Posted on December 23, 2013 .