Jewish detractor of Putin disappears from Berlin home
Husband of controversial artist Anna Mikhalchuk says she was subject to threats, anti-Semitic harassment.
German police are seeking a Russian Jewish artist who disappeared from her Berlin home last week.
Anna Mikhalchuk, 52, has been a fierce critic of Putin's regime and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Her husband said that in Russia she had been subject to intense harassment of an anti-Semitic nature.
In 2003 she stood trial for her part in organizing the art exhibition "Careful, Religion," which lambasted the prominent standing of the church in Russia. It was vandalized by extreme right-wing activists, and Mikhalchuk, along with two co-organizers of the exhibition, was indicted for sedition. She was eventually acquitted.
Mikhalchuk and her husband, Mikhail Riklin, moved to Berlin when he was offered professorship at the city's Humboldt University. He notified the authorities of his wife's disappearance on Friday last week.
"She told me that afternoon that she was going for a short walk," he said.
Together with a number of colleagues, Riklin published an open letter urging the German police to consider political grounds for her disappearance.
However, the daily newspaper Die Welt quoted Mikhalchuk's associates who said she had been suffering from depression recently.