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Police charge one of the Russian Internet's ‘founding fathers’ with extremism

Meduza

Police have brought extremism charges against Anton Nossik, who's known informally as one of the Russian Internet's “founding fathers.” He is being accused of hate speech.

On October 1, 2015, Nossik authored a blog post on LiveJournal, titled “Erase Syria From the Face of the Earth.” That same week, he appeared on the radio station Echo of Moscow, where he said he welcomes the deaths of “women, children, and the elderly” in Syria, explaining that Syrians “are not people.”

Formally, Nossik is being charged with violating Article 282 of Russia's criminal code, which prohibits public actions aimed at inciting hatred or humiliation of a person or social group on the grounds of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, faith, or membership in a social group. The maximum penalty for those who break this law is four years in prison.

In his controversial LiveJournal post, Nossik welcomed Russia's airstrikes against targets in Syria, comparing the country to Nazi Germany. 

Police first opened a criminal case against Nossik in November 2015. Nossik says he doesn't consider his remarks to be extremist, and points out that Russia lacks a clear legal understanding of what constitutes extremism.