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July 25, 2024
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Russian blogger sentenced to five years over ‘extremist’ tweet

A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced a blogger to five years in prison for a tweet that called for attacks on the children of law enforcement officials, news agencies reported.

Moscow’s Presnensky district court found Vladislav Sinitsa guilty on extremism charges and ruled he must serve five years in a penal colony, Russia’s three main news agencies reported from the court.

Sinitsa, a manager who wrote on Twitter under the pseudonym Max_Steklov and lives in a town outside Moscow, was detained last month over the tweet he posted on July 31, according to investigators.

He was charged with inciting hatred against a social group using the Internet and with a threat of violence, under Russia’s harsh anti-extremism legislation.

The tweet was written in response to a police crackdown on demonstrations calling for fair elections, which have seen tens of thousands take to the streets of Moscow in recent weeks.

Sinitsa in his tweet imagined a situation in which people found the homes of law enforcement officers to kidnap and kill their children, which investigators said was a call to violence.

His tweet was picked up and reported on by pro-Kremlin media.

Sinitsa’s case was rushed through in a single hearing. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum possible sentence of six years.

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