Team 29 compile advice for bloggers on how to avoid ending up in prison

posted 6 Apr 2016, 02:16 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 6 Apr 2016, 02:21 ]
30 March 2016

Source: (info)
Human rights lawyers from Team 29 have published advice on how not to end up in prison when protecting rights to the freedom of speech.

As Radio Svoboda reports, the authors of the advice booklet highlight that any internet user in Russia could be subject to an investigation for voicing their opinions, but sometimes even just for a ‘like' or repost.

Bloggers could have a court case opened against them accusing them of extremism or insulting believers’ feelings, or be fined. According to the lawyers, one of the main problems connected with the application of laws in this area is the vagueness of the definitions they employ.

“Anyone can fall foul of these laws, from activists to journalists, from school teachers to unemployed people in small towns,” says the advice booklet.

Authors of the advice recommend that bloggers don’t forget about the right of suspects to refuse to give testimony and advise them to find a lawyer immediately – not resorting to the services of a defence counsel appointed by the state.

Past publications from Team 29:
Team 29 is headed by the well-known St. Petersburg lawyer Ivan Pavlov. The group grew out of the Foundation for Freedom of Information, which had to close after it was included in the register of “NGO foreign agents”. “29” is the number of the article in the Russian Constitution on the right of citizens to search for, receive, pass on, produce, and distribute information.

Translated by Jo Anston