Silencing Free Speech in Russia -- When Here?
Russia Charges Blogger for Inciting Police Hatred
Russian blogger Savva Terentyev is being charged for inciting hatred toward the authorities for a post that, among other things, labeled the police "uneducated representatives of the animal world."
Terentyev said Wednesday that the charges were a result of a February 2007 posting in which he chastised local authorities for raiding an opposition newspaper.
Terentyev's comments, first published by The Associated Press, come amid a government crackdown on Russian internet and media outlets.
"They're trash - and those that become cops are simply trash, dumb, uneducated representatives of the animal world," Terentyev wrote. "It would be good if in the center of every town in Russia ... an oven was built, like at Auschwitz, in which ceremonially, every day, and better yet, twice a day ... the infidel cops were burnt. This would be the first step toward cleaning society of these cop-hoodlum scum."
If Terentyev doesn't like restrictions to his voice in Russia, he should move to the United States.
That's the country where President Bush, as commander in chief, has drift-netted American's electronic communications in a bid to protect their freedoms, including the right of free speech. It's also the country where web sites critical of the police are taken down for murky reasons.
I'd really like to see a link to the original comments in Russian, as much is lost in the translation: "musor" (trash) is an ubiquitous euphemism for members of the militisia, used as freely (if not more so) as "pig" is used in America. I'm nearly certain that the label translated as "cop-hoodlum" might better be translated as "lawful banditry" - a fair charge given the jackbooted storming of a newspaper's office. (That all being said - was it really an "opposition" newspaper, or was this some local dispute between oligarchs being played out in the media? Were the cops representatives of the state or tools of a local bigwig? OMON or tax police? Context matters, and Philopoemen is certainly right that Russia is such a complicated place right now that comparisons are not helpful.) And the judge's suggestion that the poster should move from Russia? Duh, I couldn't imagine living in Komi...
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Labels: silencing free speech