Independent journalist Sergey Smirnov released from jail after serving 15 days for a retweet
Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov was released from detention on Thursday, February 18, after spending 15 days in jail for a joke he shared on Twitter.
A Moscow court sentenced Sergey Smirnov to 25 days in administrative detention on February 3, after finding him guilty of repeatedly violating the rules for holding public events. The Moscow City Court reduced Smirnov’s jail sentence to 15 days on February 8.
Smirnov was charged after he retweeted a joke about his resemblance to a Russian rock musician; the post included a picture with the time and date of a rally in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny. According to the police, Smirnov’s retweet constituted a call to participate in an unauthorized protest.
On February 16, Smirnov filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, maintaining that the Russian authorities violated multiple articles of the European Convention in the handling of his case and underscoring the “inhumane conditions” he experienced in detention.