An innocent joke can be summoned to anyone disagreeing with the authorities of the country


 

In Russia, they judge for "extremism" because of jokes on the Internet
An innocent joke can be summoned to anyone disagreeing with the authorities of the country
 
Parody of the Party Emblem of the ruling party
 
27
AUG
2018
In 2015, Edward Nikitin shared in the social networks a joke, ironizing his notorious future. He is now accused of "extremism" under a law, the abuse of which is increasingly criticized.
 
The case against the 42-year-old unemployed disabled is just one of the dozens that have been formed in recent years by Russian justice because of the harmless, according to many jokes on the Internet, BTA reports. At the same time, human rights activists criticize the Kremlin for purposeful actions that make the Russians seriously think before disclosing their views on the networks - one of the last places in which critics of power have so far been harshly pursued.
 
"An innocent joke can be summoned to anyone disagreeing with the authorities of the country," Maxim Camakin, the lawyer of Edward Nikitin, told AFP. "It seems that only optimists have a right to life."
 
In one of the two posts in social networks for which Nikitin is tried, a father explains in cynical words to his son that Russia will not be at all at all. The other is a painting depicting a "waddle" - a garbage from the Soviet period, and now they call offensive people who blindly support the authorities.
 
Because of the "absurd" and yet unfinished scandalous process against Edward Nikitin, his bank accounts have already been frozen, his computer has been confiscated temporarily and has been denied the possibility of taking part in any opposition, his lawyer points out. Accused of "hate speech" and "aggression against human dignity," the Russians risk sentencing to six years' imprisonment, although in most cases less severe penalties are imposed - fine or socially useful.
 
Judicial prosecutions in such cases are not new to Russia, but some of them, accompanied by media noise, drew attention to this phenomenon. In the Siberian town of Barnaul, a lawsuit against Daniel Markin, a 19-year-old student who has shared humorous "memos" on the internet, among them an image of John Snow, a hero of the Thriller series series, was set up. Below his image is written "John Snow Vocriche! Voyistiu Voscrese!" - a parody of the voice that we hear from Orthodox Easter believers, for which the young man is accused of "incitement to religious hatred." And against 23-year-old Maria Mutunna, a Barnaul resident, she has been charged with "extremism" on memorial pictures posted on her page in the very popular Russian social network VKontake. One African child holds empty bowls and has an inscription: "Black humor is like food - it does not reach everyone."
 
"Very often, law enforcement officers act manifestly inadequately to the potential threat, react to posts and mumbles too harshly and without any justification," said Mail.ru, the owner of the VKontacte network, in August, and said the company of oligarch Alisher Usmanov was announced as a change in the law and "amnesty" for "unjustly convicted in these deeds".
 
According to the independent association "Agora" in 2017, in Russia 43 people were convicted for publications on the Internet against 32 in the previous year.
 
The Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications announced a mitigation of the law; however, no project in this spirit is considered. "The basic idea of ​​this policy is to scare the Internet users and give the impression that the authorities are monitoring each of them," said Sarkis Darbinian, a lawyer for networking. "Many consumers are already afraid to express their own opinions, they are self-censored and they rub off what has been shared before, which reduces freedom of speech in Russia," he said.
 
Dmitry, a 21-year-old consumer of the Ekaterinburg city of Ural, is one of those who delete his previous posts. "Now there is a real fear: the state is mad, may arrest you for some lakes," he explains to AFP, "I do not want to have anything to do with." I want to be safe.


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An innocent joke can be summoned to anyone disagreeing with the authorities of the country An innocent joke can be summoned to anyone disagreeing with the authorities of the country