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Russian Blogger Sentenced for Anti-Female Hate Speech

Vladislav Pozdnyakov / Vkontakte

A Russian blogger has been sentenced to house arrest for hate speech toward women, days after the Kremlin moved to decriminalize anti-extremism laws that have been used to prosecute social media users for their online activity.

Saratov resident Vladislav Pozdnyakov, 27, was charged in Nizhny Novgorod last week for creating an anti-women community on the popular Vkontakte social networkThe “Male State” page, which numbers more than 150,000 members and espouses nationalism and patriarchy, had reported ties with groups that shamed women for fraternizing with foreign football fans during the World Cup in Russia.

“He posted photos and videos containing linguistic and psychological signs of incitement of enmity and hatred, specifically in relation to women,” investigators said on Friday.

A court sentenced Pozdnyakov to two months of house arrest that same day, a court official told the Mediazona news website on Wednesday.

The man’s case echoes last month’s extremism charges brought against a feminist blogger who faces up to five years in jail for posting jokes and rants against men online.

Pozdnyakov was convicted two days after President Vladimir Putin submitted a draft bill to partially decriminalize hate speech laws that have been used to prosecute and jail users for insensitive online content since 2012. Lawmakers are expected to consider the legislation in the coming weeks.

Pozdnyakov’s last social media entry informed readers on Sept. 28 that he had been detained “by Putin’s Gestapo” at his apartment in Nizhny Novgorod.

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