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Russian Blogger Gets Suspended Sentence for 'Extremist' Religious Joke

Ilya Maddison / Youtube

A Russian blogger has received a 1.5-year suspended sentence for hate speech over jokes that reportedly offended the country’s Muslim population.

Last year, Russia blacklisted two videos in which Ilya Davydov, who performs standup comedy and blogs under the alias Ilya Maddyson, jokes about the Quran. Davydov was reportedly forced to flee Russia temporarily last year after receiving threats following the publication of one of the videos.

A court in Moscow found Davydov guilty of criminal extremism charges for one of the two blacklisted videos, the state-owned Ren-TV broadcaster reported Monday. Court records indicate it took effect on May 29.

Davydov’s admission of guilt served as a mitigating circumstance, a court spokeswoman told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

The sentence follows a high-profile incident last year in which a popular comedy show was forced to issue a public apology after facing online threats for a sketch depicting an escort from Russia’s Muslim republic of Ingushetia.

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