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Sending a Message to Bloggers

Today Russian prosecutors are beginning the extremism trial of Savva Terentyev, a young blogger from Syktyvkar who was first brought under investigation after he posted inflammatory anti-police comments on another journalist’s blog which angered local authorities. We’ve posted several reports about the case on this blog, and we see these types of trials as a negative development for freedom of speech in Russia. Alex Rodriguez of the Chicago Tribune writes that the heavy-handed oversight on internet and blog activity may be making some more politically active. One LiveJournal blogger wrote the following:

Until recently, I had absolutely no opinion on the government and its policy,” wrote a blogger called “bravo.” “But having looked at [my] compatriots’ servility, their worshiping of Putin, Medvedev, United Russia, I was horrified. I don’t want a dictatorship of falsehood. I don’t want corrupt bureaucrats. I don’t want freedom of speech to be infringed. I don’t like this at all.