Russian court sentences opposition leader to community service for ‘insulting public officials’

A Russian district court in Ryazan sentenced the leader of the local PARNAS branch, Yuriy Bogomolov, to 250 hours of community services for insulting judges on social media, RIA Novosti reported.

According to investigators, in August of 2015, Bogomolov posted on the Russian social network site VKontakte, in which he “publicly insulted and degraded the honor and dignity of the authorities” of the judges of the Moscow District Court of Ryazan, as well as judges of the Ryazan regional court “in connection with the execution of their duties,” Dozhd reported.

The district court decided that this “led to socially dangerous consequences in the form of undermining the authority of the government, as well as the humiliation of the honor and dignity of the authorities.”

Investigators opened a criminal case against the 55-year-old Russian opposition leader in September of 2015, under the article “insulting a public official.” During the investigation, Bogomolov’s apartment was searched, during which police seized two computers.

While explaining the case against him, Bogomolov stated “in this case, it is unclear why [this happened]. Apparently, it has come from the fact that I posted a picture on VKontakte where I stand with a sign, on which is written “Judges of Russia and Ryazan! You are not honorable. You are scum!”

According to the Court, an examination of the post published by Bogomolov "confirmed his offensive text.”

  Russia, Russian Opposition, PARNAS