Tomsk journalist jailed as suspect in ‘Chto Delat! case’ charged with creating an extremist group
Tomsk oppositionist and RusNews journalist Igor Kuznetsov, who is in jail pending trial for allegedly attempting to instigate “mass riots” using Telegram, is facing new charges.
According to lawyer Sergey Badamshin, the FSB’s Moscow branch has charged Kuznetsov with creating an extremist group (under Russian Criminal Code Article 282.1). This felony offense is punishable by between six and ten years in prison.
Ahead of Russia’s State Duma elections in September, the Investigative Committee announced the launch of a criminal case on charges of “inducing mass riots” using Telegram. According to investigators, the case involved 11 suspects from seven Russian regions, who were all part of a Telegram network linked to a channel called “Chto-Delat!” (What to Do!).
In a written statement published in the press, Igor Kuznetsov admitted to being the administrator of the “Chto Delat! Tomsk” Telegram channel. However, according to the journalist, he joined the channel as part of an editorial assignment.
If convicted, the defendants in the “Chto Delat! Case” will face between five and ten years in prison.