Prosecutor Apologizes To Blogger For Unlawful Charges

A Russian prosecutor has officially apologized to a blogger who faced criminal prosecution on charges of inciting hatred against Russian officials and police, which were later dropped, the Agora human rights group said.

The criminal charges were brought against Andrei Yermolayenko, a resident of Chelyabinsk, in Russia’s Urals, after he published blog postings on the internet entitled “We declare war on you!” and “No to political impotency” in the summer of 2009.

Experts from the Chelyabinsk State University established that the blogger’s statements were aimed at “inciting hatred and enmity, as well as dishonoring a person and a group of persons on the basis of their belonging to a certain social group.” They concluded that officials and law enforcement officers were those comprising the humiliated “social group.”

Charges against Yermolayenko were subsequently dropped after another analysis, by specialists from the Yuzhno-Uralsky State University, concluded that officials and law enforcement officers cannot be considered a “social group.”

Chelyabinsk Prosecutor Sergei Lezhnikov said in a statement Yermolayenko had the right to demand compensation from authorities for unlawful prosecution.


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