News‎ > ‎

Kazan FSB launch investigation into activist for video about United Russia party posted on VKontakte

posted 23 May 2014, 08:01 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 25 May 2014, 11:40 ]
23 May 2014

Source: Open News Agency

Photo: Boris Begaev (source: VKontakte)

Today on 23rd May, Kazan’s first deputy prosecutor, Farit Safin instituted proceedings regarding administrative infringements of the law related to the co-chairman of the Kazan Civic Union, Boris Begaev. He is suspected of disseminating extremist materials (Article 20:29 of Administrative Law Code).

The reason for this is that on his page on Vkontakte he placed a video entitled, “We remind the Scoundrels and Thieves of their 2002 Manifesto”. This is reported by the Agora Human Rights Association, representing the interests of the civil activist.

On 22nd April the Tatarstan FSB in the main building of the Kazan (Upper Volga) Federal university, in the presence of two witnesses, looked at Boris Begaev’s Vkontakte page and the video recordings section. Having watched the video, they copied the certain pictures from the screen, after which they downloaded the video and saved it to a disc.

During the joint verification by the prosecutor of Kazan and the Tatarstan FSB, they concluded that this video lasting 2 minutes and 5 seconds, posted on 20th October 2011, was identical to recognised extremist materials.

On 21 June 2013 the Novosibirsk Kirov district court upheld this decision. Later this video was published on the Federal list of extremist materials. The basis for the court decision was research by the expert-criminology department of the Investigative Committee for the Novosibirsk region.

One expert, Yu. Volkova, concluded that the video file ‘We remind the Rogues and Thieves of their 2002 Manifesto’ expressed opinions in which a group of people belonging to the political party ‘United Russia’ were negatively appraised; there were opinions of a provocative nature, rousing hostilities between one group of people and another group, united in their adherence to the social group “The Government” and specifically to the public figure, Putin.”

The prosecutor has transferred the administrative case of Boris Begaev to the Soviet district court of Kazan. Article 20:29 of the RF Administrative Code provides for punishment by way of a fine of up to 3,000 roubles, or imprisonment for a period of up to fifteen days with confiscation of the materials in question, and any recording equipment. 

We remind readers that earlier in Chuvashia, a court fined the directors of the local affiliates of Rostelekom and Chebnet (which belongs to Megafon) because the subscribers of the operators were able to gain access to this video about the United Russia party. The Lenin district court of Cheboksary fined the director of the Rostelekom affiliate 2,000 roubles, but the Moscow district court in Cheboksary fined Chebnet 50,000 roubles.

Translated by Frances Robson