Tyumen Blogger Sentenced to Two and a Half Years in Prison for Post on Syria
Anastasiya Yuditskaya, Dmitry Nosonov & Yegor Gubernatorov
December 20, 2016
A court has sentenced Tyumen blogger Alexei Kungurov to two and a half years in a work-release penal colony for “public justification of terrorism.” A LiveJournal post entitled “Who Putin’s falcons are really bombing” triggered the charges.
Tyumen blogger Alexei Kungurov was charged under Russian Federal Criminal Code Article 205.2.1 (“public calls for terrorism or public justification of it”). A visiting panel of judges from the Volga District Military Court found him guilty and sentenced him to two and a half years’ imprisonment in a work-release penal colony, Asiya Bayshikhina, Kungurov’s wife, has informed RBC.
“There is very little information right now. I know only he has been sentenced to two [sic] years in a work-release penal colony. Alexei was on his recognizance from February, but in June he was placed in a pre-trial detention facility. He has been in Pre-Trial Detention Facility No. 1 in Tyumen the whole time,” Bayshikhina told RBC.
Kungurov’s attorney, Alexander Zyryanov, told RBC the defense planned to appeal the verdict.
“We are going to lodge an appeal with the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court. We plan to do this at the beginning of next week. We have ten days to do it.”
Criminal charges were filed against Kungurov in March over a LiveJournal post, entitled “Who Putin’s falcons are really bombing,” in which the blogger criticized the actions of the Russian armed forces in Syria.
In August, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported that terrorist crimes had increased by 73% in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period last years. The office reported then that it had solved a total of 1,313 terrorist crimes and 830 extremist crimes.
Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman noted that the increasing numbers of such crimes were “the outcome of preventive work by law enforcement agencies in surveilling the Internet for banned publications and bringing to justice leaders and members of the armed underground in the North Caucasus and their accomplices, and persons who are fighting in Syria as part of terrorist groups.”
Translated by the Russian Reader