Arctic-based Russian blogger walks free

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Aleksandr Serebryanikov, owner of the Bloger51 site, was in 2013 accused of violations of a criminal code paragraph on incitement of national, racial, or religious enmity. (Thomas Nilsen/Barents Observer)
Aleksandr Serebryanikov, owner of the Bloger51 site, was in 2013 accused of violations of a criminal code paragraph on incitement of national, racial, or religious enmity. (Thomas Nilsen/Barents Observer)
Prosecutors in Murmansk end their case against the man behind the popular Bloger51 news site.

Aleksandr Serebryanikov might finally be able to return to normality as the time limitation of his case ran out on March 27nd. The blogger and site owner subsequently got his request for case end approved by prosecutors and a local court.

However, the court decision will not come into force until after ten days, Serebryanikov writes in a blog post.

Furthermore, the court decision does not acquit the blogger from the charges.

Blogging community questions charges

Aleksandr Serebryanikov was in 2013 accused of violation of criminal code paragraph 282, a piece of legislation targeting “incitement of national, racial, or religious enmity, abasement of human dignity, and also propaganda of the exceptionality, superiority, or inferiority of individuals by reason of their attitude to religion, national, or racial affiliation”.

Serebryanikov himself denies all accusations of violating the law.

Since September 2013, Serebryanikov has been imposed to travel restrictions.

As previously reported, the community of bloggers and Internet commentators in Murmansk has been protesting the case against Serebryanikov and the way independent bloggers and journalists in the region are being harassed. Many believe that the case against Bloger51 is a result of critical articles published in his blog. Exposure of bureaucratic stupidity and abuse of authority by public servants and officials are amongst his favourite topics, he said in an interview with BarentsObserver last year.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Politics, media misinformation & #sealfie, Eye on the Arctic

Norway:  Column – Journalists want to report on Barents region – Here’s why it’s not working, Barents Observer

Russia: Nordic information office suspends activities in Russia, Barents Observer

United States: Proposed cuts to public broadcasting funding rile rural Alaska radio, Alaska Dispatch

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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