Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge
Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2015 10 Prosecuted for critizising government
UA 232/15
Abgeschlossen am 1. Dezember 2015
Mitteilung schliessen

NEWS 28.10.2015

On 27 October, the hearing  on Yekaterina Vologzheninova's case was adjourned until 10 November as all five prosecution witnesses did not show up. The judge ruled that the witnesses must be brought to court by bailiffs.

We would like to encourage you to continue taking action on this case on the basis of the UA as the calls and targets remain the same.

We will continue monitoring the situation and sharing information as the case unfolds.

Prosecuted for critizising government

AI-Index: EUR 46/2682/2015

Shop assistant Yekaterina Vologzheninova is facing trial on 27 October for «inciting hatred and enmity» against the Russian government and Russians fighting in eastern Ukraine. The charges stem from her posts on social media criticizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s involvement in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.

Yekaterina Vologzheninova, a shop assistant from Yekaterinburg, in the Urals Region, Russian Federation, will be standing trial on 27 October for «publicly inciting hatred or enmity as well as denigrating human dignity». The charges against her stem from her posts on the Russian social media site VKontakte criticizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s involvement in Donbass, eastern Ukraine.

During 2014, Yekaterina Vologzheninova reposted content from several publications, films, texts and images relating to the situation in Ukraine, on her VKontakte social media account. Several of these publications were critical of Russia’s annexation of Crimea (this annexation is in violation of the international law), and of Russia’s involvement in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. Her account is only accessible by her registered friends. On 12 December 2014, her apartment was searched by law enforcement officials and she was taken to the police station for questioning. She then learned that a criminal case against her had been opened for “publicly inciting hatred or enmity as well as denigrating human dignity” (Article 282, part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code). If convicted, she will face up to five years’ imprisonment.

During the investigation of her case, the authorities solicited «psycholinguistic expertise» to analyse her postings and questioned her colleagues and other acquaintances in an attempt to prove that her motivation had been specifically to incite hatred. The investigation concluded that Yekaterina Vologzheninova’s intention by criticizing the government’s policies online (with only her friends) had been to incite hatred against the Russian government, and Russians fighting in eastern Ukraine. In late September 2015 the case was forwarded to the Zheleznodorozhnyi Court in Yekaterinburg. The trial is expected to start on 27 October.

Additional Information

Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the outbreak of fighting between Ukrainian forces and armed groups supported by Russia in Donbass in eastern Ukraine in spring 2014, several people have been sentenced in Russia. They have been sentenced for allegedly inciting hatred and enmity on the Internet in connection with their posts that criticised Russia’s policy towards Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.
The number of Internet users who have faced prosecution for their peaceful but critical views on Russia’s current politics is growing. Article 280 (public calls to commit extremist activities) and Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code are increasingly being used to silence dissent and to intimidate those who question official government in relation to Ukraine.
Yekaterina Vologzheninova told Amnesty International that her account on VKontakte was not public and only accessible to friends. She browsed Ukrainian media because she was looking for alternative information to that provided by the state-controlled television and other media in Russia, and shared some publications from Ukraine on her personal page. The investigation claimed that the “likes” under some of her online posts indicate that she did incite hatred via these posts.
For several months in 2014, she was subscribed to the email list by the Ukrainian nationalist movement Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), an organization which was banned in Russia in November 2014 as extremist. The investigation claimed that Yekaterina Vologzheninova was a member of Pravy Sektor, something she herself vehemently denies.
The Russian authorities have consistently denied, in spite of the mounting evidence to the contrary, Russia’s direct involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The national television and other state-controlled media have portrayed the conflict in Donbass as an assault by forces under the command of a “fascist” government in Kyiv against the peaceful Russian-speaking population.

7 Briefe verschickt  
My Urgent Actions
Fürs Mitzählen lassen Ihres Briefes und Update-Funktion zu nutzen müssen Sie sich
einloggen oder
UA 232/15 english
Microsoft Word Document, 63.0 kB
UA 232/15 français
Microsoft Word Document, 63.5 kB
UA 232/15 deutsch
Microsoft Word Document, 64.5 kB