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Voronezh court dismisses case against organiser of rally calling for people to vote against Putin

22 March 2012


On 22 March the Leninsky district court in Voronezh dismissed a case against Nina Belyaeva, the 22 year old organiser of a protest "for honest elections" for the lack of evidence of an offence.

Belyaeva had been accused of the "production, dissemination or lodging of campaign materials in violation of the legislation on elections and referendums" (article 5.12 of the Administrative Code). This was reported to the Agora Human Rights Association by lawyer Olga Gnezdilova who was representing Nina Belyaeva's interests at Agora’s behest.

In his ruling closing the case proceedings Judge Nikolai Kosenkov pointed out that the law enforcement agencies had collected insufficient evidence to confirm that Nina Belyaeva had been the source of the communications, reports Openinform's correspondent.

Our readers will recall that in February the Voronezh Oblast Electoral Commission had suggested to the Centre for Countermeasures against Extremism that it take action against one of the organisers of the protests on 10, 24 December and 4 February. The Electoral Commission requested the Police Counter Extremism Centre to put a stop to "the illegal campaigning activities" being carried out by Nina Belyaeva on social networks and to establish the “sources of payment.”

In his letter to the Counter Extremism Centre Vyacheslav Cherepukhin, deputy chair of Voronezh Oblast Electoral Commission and head of the Working Group for Electoral Communication Disputes and other Communications Issues, reported that Nina Belyaeva had uploaded information on her VKontakt social network site, which “contains the attributes of pre-election campaigning in the form of repeated calls to vote against registered candidate for the post of President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin.”

As a result, the responsible officer, Police Captain A. Moiseev of the Interior Ministry Directorate in Voronezh, initiated proceedings under Article 5.12 of the Administrative Code for the “production, dissemination or placing of campaign materials in violation of the legislation on elections and referendums.”