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Russian court rejects lawsuit from pro-Navalny opposition activists whose social media data was given to security forces

The Smolninsky District Court in St. Petersburg has rejected a lawsuit submitted by four supporters of the opposition politician Alexey Navalny against the social network VKontakte.

Andrey Boyarshinov, Elvira Dmitrieva, Alexey Boyarov, and Mikhail Tikhonov, all of whom reside in the Russian republic of Tatarstan, demanded 100,000 rubles ($1,568) each in compensation for emotional distress they endured when VKontakte transferred their personal information to the region’s Center for Combating Extremism (Center E) without their permission.

Pavel Chikov, who leads the human rights organization Agora, said that the trial was closed to the public and that the ruling would be appealed.

VKontakte representatives told Meduza that they were required by law to transfer the information in question to Center E. The Tatarstan activists’ case comes after a March 14 decision by the same court to reject a similar lawsuit from an activist in Ufa. She had also asked the court to rule that VKontakte’s actions were illegal.

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