Philosophy teacher fined for sad emoji under anti-war post

Alexei Argunov, a professor of philosophy and history from Barnaul, was fined for emoji under anti-war posts. As Sibir.Realii writes , this is the first case when an article about discrediting the Russian army was imputed not for publishing or reposting, but for a “sad emoji”.

Here is how the defendant described the case:

“They called me from the Internal Affairs Directorate, they said: “We need to come to us, we have a conversation with you here.” I came, they showed me these “materials on discrediting” and said that I had to write an explanation. That's how I found out that, it turns out, a sad emoticon under someone else's post that the leader of the Altai "Yabloko" Goncharenko was convicted under the same article on discrediting falls under the actions that discredit the army. Or the “class” emoji under the video of the American actor Schwarzenegger. <...> The police themselves showed that they understood that the matter was not serious, even stupid. Like, the FSB officers let down, it is necessary to report. Therefore, there was a feeling that I would write an explanatory note and that would be the end of it, that the case would not be taken to court further. I wrote an explanatory note, they said that they would consider it until July 12, then you have to come for a summons. I came on the 12th, and Chief Inspector Zenchenko said: “Something is unlucky for you, we will send the case to court.”

The trial took place on July 15. Argunov came to him without a lawyer, and he was also not provided with a public defender. He tried to explain to the judge that likes and reposts are different concepts, which means that he was not engaged in “distribution”:

“She got to the bottom of me: “Here you put the emoticon“ sympathy ”, what does this mean?“ How to answer? Compassion is what compassion is. The judge did not argue with me, she just listened to all this: “We will make a decision, come back in an hour and a half.” I came in an hour and a half later: “Guilty, 30 thousand rubles fine.”

Argunov's salary as a teacher at the college is 17 thousand rubles.

By the end of July, the Russian police had drawn up more than 3,300 protocols on “discrediting” the Russian army, the Network Freedoms project calculated .

After the outbreak of the war, Roskomnadzor demanded that the Russian media use only the wording “special operation” when covering the invasion of Ukraine. Also in Russia, criminal cases are being massively initiated against citizens about "fake" stories about the Russian army.

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