EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Bureaus Tatar Blogger Sentenced To Prison Term

Posted by Info on 27/11/2009

Irek Murtazin, a blogger and former press secretary of Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiyev, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for libeling his former boss and “instigating hatred and hostility” toward a social group.

Murtazin, 45, posted an online report in September 2008 saying that Shaimiyev had died while on an extended vacation in Turkey. Shaimiyev said that certain passages in the book, which was published in 2006, “instigated hatred.” Murtazin said that the trial against him was a “theater of the absurd” and he will appeal the verdict.

The court sets a dangerous precedent in which “any word of criticism” against a Russian leader could be used to file criminal charges against someone.

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