Chuvashia Resident Fined for Reposting Photo of Milonov
November 16, 2016
A member of the board of Open Russia from Chuvashia has been fined 1,000 rubles for reposting a photograph of Russian MP Vitaly Milonov in which he is posed in a t-shirt brandishing a slogan deemed extremist in Russia
A court in Chuvashia has fined Dmitry Semyonov, a member of Open Russia‘s board in the region, 1,000 rubles for reposting a photo of MP Vitaly Milonov in a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Orthodoxy or Death” on the social media network VKontakte. The slogan has been ruled an incitement to sectarian strife and placed on the federal list of extremist matter. Semyonov’s lawyer, Alexei Glukhov, reported the news on his Facebook page.
In another post, he added that the court had reject the defense’s motion to order a forensic examination and summon specialists to confirm the date when the Internet had been monitored.
Last week, Semyonov was summoned by the police over the repost of Milonov’s photograph. As the activist told RBC himself, he was charged in writing with violating Article 20.29 of the Administrative Offense Codes (producing and disseminating extremist matter).
“The charge sheets say that, on November 3, FSB officers suddenly felt like monitoring social media networks and chanced upon my post,” said Semyonov.
He linked the incident to his work as a social and political activist with Open Russia. Semyonov is the organization’s regional coordinator in eight Russian regioins.
In turn, Glukhov told RBC that police in Chuvashia constantly haul in activists for reposts on social media.
In conversation with RBC, Milonov said that last Wednesday he had sent a letter to the Justice Ministry asking them to remove the slogan from the register of extremist matter, but had not yet received a reply.
“As one brother to another, I’ll tell the justice minister, ‘Do you really imagine living outside the faith? So it’s a normal Orthodox slogan, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a bastard,” said the MP.
He was confident the slogan would soon be removed from the list of extremist matter, but promised to study Semyonov’s case more closely, “although membership in Khodorkovsky’s organization deserves attention itself.”
Earlier, Milonov told RBC that he did not consider displaying a photograph in which he posed with the slogan “Orthodoxy or Death” a crime. However, the MP doubted that Semyonov was being prosecuted solely over the photograph.
Translated by A Loaf of Bread