(JNS.org) Russian-Jewish teacher and painter Ilya Farber was released from Russian prison on Friday.
Farber was jailed on bribery charges in 2011 after receiving a seven-year prison sentence. Local residents, Jewish groups, and the Kremlin’s human rights council protested the decision, suggesting that anti-Semitism played a role in Farber’s conviction after a prosecutor said during his trial, “Can a person with the last name Farber truly help a village for free?”
“The release of Ilya Farber was a long time coming. Unfortunately, both of his trails were marred by hints of overt anti-Semitism. National Conference Supporting Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia (NCSJ) is glad Mr. Farber will be reunited with his family,” NCSJ Executive Director Mark B. Levin told JNS.org in December after a regional court reduced Farber’s sentence.