Poet Found Guilty of Extremism

A 21-year-old poet has been convicted in Russia’s Veliky Novgorod for publishing Islamic poems on her LiveJournal blog that the Federal Security Service (FSB) deemed extremist. Yevgenia Savelyeva accused the authorities of stifling freedom of speech. “Freedom of speech in our country is under rather strict control,” she said.

Anton Nosik, director of LiveJournal’s owner, SUP, said Savelyeva’s offense, if there had been any, was “insignificant” to the public in general compared to crimes such as rape, terrorist attacks and murders. “All law enforcement officers who instead of looking for terrorists read poems on the internet should be burned,” he said.

In July 2008, Komi blogger Savva Terentyev received a one-year suspended sentence for suggesting on a blog that police officers be publicly burned. In August, prosecutors in Kemerovo opened a criminal investigation into the activities of opposition activist Dmitry Solovyov following allegations that he made offensive comments about law enforcement officers on a blog.


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