Chuvash Pensioner Receives Two Years Probation for Repost on VKontakte
October 14, 2016
A court in Chuvashia has sentenced a local pensioner to a two-year suspended sentence for reposting printed matter earlier ruled extremist. In May of this year, Andrei Bubeyev, a mechanical engineer from Tver, was convicted of reposting an article by Boris Stomakhin.
Tsivilsk District Court in Chuvashia has sentenced 62-year-old pensioner Nikolai Yegorov, who works as a security guard at a cement factory, to a two-year suspended sentence. He was found guilty of “inciting ethnic hatred” (as punishable under Russian Federal Criminal Code Article 282.1), reports Interfax.
Police investigators claimed that, on May 8, 2014, Yegorov posted an open letter by journalist Boris Stomakhin, which had been ruled extremist, on his page on the VKontakte social network. Lawyer Yevgeny Gubin had previously reported that prosecutors had asked the pensioner be sentenced to 360 hours of compulsory labor.
Yegorov himself claimed he had not posted anything. According to his lawyer, his client’s personal page was accessible to anyone “due to his poor knowledge of the specific features of the Internet.”
Journalist Boris Stomakhin, who supported Chechen separatists, has been convicted of inciting hatred and publicly calling for extremism on three occasions. He is currently serving a sentence for justifying terrorism. In April 2014, he was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.
In May of this year, Andrei Bubeyev, a mechanical engineer from Tver, was convicted for reposting an article by Stomakhin. The sentence was harsher: Bubeyev was sentenced to two years and three months in a work-release prison colony. The Tver man was convicted of “publicly calling for extremism” (as punishable under Russian Federal Criminal Code Article 280.2) and “publicly calling for actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation” (as punishable under Russian Federal Criminal Code 280.1.2).
In 2002, the law “On Combating Extremism” beefed up the definition of extremism. Extremism includes such acts as “violent change of the constitutional system and violation of the Russian Federation’s integrity,” “public justification of terrorism and other terrorist activity,” and “incitement of social, racial, ethnic or religious enmity.” Nikolay Mironov, director of the Center for Economic and Political Reform, told RBC that over half of extremism convictions have to do with publications in the Internet and, in particular, on social networks.
Translated by the Russian Reader. Image courtesy of supahpowah.tumbler.com