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Prosecutor seeks 2-year penal colony sentence for Russian blogger accused of extremism

September 19, 15:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the investigation, blogger Anton Nosik on October 1, 2015, posted article Wiping Syria off the Map, considered to be of extremist nature
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Anton Nosik

Anton Nosik

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. The prosecution is seeking a two-year penal colony sentence for blogger Anton Nosik, accused of posting extremist materials, the prosecutor said in Moscow’s Presnensky court where hearing arguments in the criminal case proceeds on Monday.

"The prosecution considers Nosik’s guilt fully established. We request that he be sentenced to two years in a penal colony, changing the measure of restriction and placing him under arrest in the courtroom," the prosecutor said.

Nosik, currently under travel restrictions, pleaded not guilty. The blogger is accused of violating Part 2 of Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code for ‘inciting hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity,’ which stipulates imprisonment for up to four years.

According to the investigation, on October 1, 2015, Nosik posted an article of extremist nature (Wiping Syria off the Map) on one of the blogging sites with the aim of stirring up hatred and enmity towards a group of people based on their ethnic origin.

On Monday, the defense attached to the case character reference for Nosik from Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar and a professor from Moscow’s Lomonosov State University.

The blogger himself admits to "overreacting in replying to questions from colleagues on Echo of Moscow radio."

"Colleagues say I mistook the internet for radio, but they are professionals and that is why I will agree with them. Yes, I overstepped the mark, but overstepping the mark is a legitimate polemic usage," the defendant said.

Nosik says he has raised more than 400 million rubles ($6.1736 million) through his blog for charity aims. He says more than 1.5 million people are subscribers to his blog.

The sentence on Nosik is to be passed on October 3.

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