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Voronezh Election Commission Secures Prosecution of 4 February Rally Organizer for Call to Vote against Putin

13 February 2012

Source: Openinform

Logo: ВКонтакте (c)

Voronezh region Election Commission has asked the police Centre for Combating Extremism (‘Centre E’) to take measures against one of the organizers of the rallies held on 10, 24 December and 4 February.

The Election Commission asked ‘Centre E’ to stop ‘unlawful election campaigning’ by 22-year-old Nina Belyaeva in social media and establish her ‘sources of funding’. The lawyer Olga Gnezdilova is representing the civic activist on behalf of Agora Human Rights Association.

In his addess to ‘Centre E’, Vyacheslav Cherpukhin, the deputy chair of the Voronezh region Election Commission and head of the Working Group on Media Election Coverage, said that Nina Belyaeva posted on her webpage in the social networking site VKontakte messages that ‘contain election campaigning in the form of clear, repeated calls to vote against presidential candidate V.V.Putin’.

As a result, senior police officer Captain A. Moiseev, who heads the Voronezh region unit for community policing, opened a criminal investigation against Nina Belyaeva under Article 5.12 of the Administrative Code (‘Preparation, dissemination or distribution of campaign materials in violation of the law on elections and referenda’).

The police have already sent the management of VKontakte a request to provide information about the ip-address used to post the messages. However, during questioning on 11 February Nina Belyaeva was herself asked to provide this information since the police said they would be ‘waiting a long time to get an answer.’ The police also threatened to confiscate all computers for analysis. In response Nina Belyaeva said that she had visited the VKontakte website from a number of computers belonging to her friends who live in different districts of the city, and she does not possess a computer herself.