Russian state must pay 100,000 rubles to woman who was ‘unlawfully prosecuted’ for illegal Internet memes
Maria Motuznaya, the woman from Barnaul who was charged with extremism and offending religious sensibilities for posting memes on social media, announced on Twitter on July 22 that she’s been awarded 100,000 rubles ($1,590) in compensation for her unlawful criminal prosecution. In her lawsuit against the state, Motuznaya asked for 10 times as much money.
In a post on his Telegram channel, human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov described the police’s harsh treatment of Moztunaya during their investigation into her online behavior, recalling that officers repeatedly interrogated her, tried to compel her to confess to the charges, searched her home, questioned her mother and boyfriend, forced her to remain in the city, repeatedly indicted her, copied personal data from her mobile phone, psychologically evaluated her, and added her name to Russia’s national list of extremists.
Motuznaya left Russia in the fall of 2018 because of the criminal case against her, but she announced her return to the country in mid-July 2019, seven months after police dropped her case.