Russian blogger jailed for threatening law enforcement officers' children online - RFE/RL
A Russian blogger has been sentenced to five years in prison for threatening the children of National Guard officers on Twitter, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The Presnensky district court on September 3 found Vladislav Sinitsa guilty of inciting hatred by using a fake name, Maks Svetlov, and distributing via Twitter on July 31 statements advocating retaliation against the children of officers who violently dispersed a rally in the Russian capital four days earlier. The 30-year-old blogger pleaded not guilty, saying that while he wrote the tweet, he had no criminal intent. He also said after his verdict and sentence were pronounced that he will appeal the ruling. "I took this threat realistically and began to fear for the life and health of my family because I was directly involved in protecting public order," Russian Guard member Artyom Tarasov told the court in testimony during the trial. Several sanctioned and unsanctioned rallies have taken place in Moscow since July 27 in which protesters have demanded that independent and opposition candidates be allowed to run in September 8 municipal elections. Dozens of protesters have been fined or given jail sentences for organizing and participating in the unsanctioned rallies. Several others are facing criminal charges for taking part in "mass unrest" and allegedly assaulting police and are being kept in pretrial detention. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
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