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Russian LiveJournal blogger could face three-year sentence

Categories: Russia

The 23-year old Russian blogger, Dmitry Shirinkin, who wrote a fiction story on his blog [1] inspired by the Virginia Tech shooting [2], could face up to three years in prison (Please read the whole story on Global Voices [1]). Dmitry Shirinkin was running a LiveJournal blog under the title tetraox and wrote about buying a gun and killing number of people in one of the city's colleges. He is being accused of “falsely warning of a terror threat [3].”

The Prosecutor's Office analysed Dmitry's blog and concluded he had a desire to shoot dead a dozen people,” Russia Today reported [3]. However, Shirinkin's defense is requesting a language analyst to give his expert opinion on the controversial text. The trial has been adjourned to September 20th.

In an interview with Russia Today (watch the video above), Shirinkin said “I didn’t expect that a short writing piece could provoke such reaction from the security services. They interrogated me asking where my gun was, but I'd never had one.”

According to Russia Today, the blog made Dmitry popular even before the trial as he was awarded the title of the best blogger in the region. On the other hand, Russian bloggers are concerned since Shirinkin's case might set a bad precedent for the country's Internet users.

Another [4] Russian Livejournal blogger is also facing a two-year prison sentence or a fine of 100,000-ruble ($4,000) for “inciting hate” against police. According to Komi regional prosecutor [5], the allegedly offending message- which has been deleted from the site – of the 21-year old Savva Terentyev contains “a direct call aimed at inciting hatred or hostility, as well as harming the dignity of … a particular social group: policemen.