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Anti-Women Blogger’s Hate Speech Sentence Overturned in Russia

Vladislav Pozdnyakov Vkontakte

The creator of an anti-women community on Russian social media has had his hate speech conviction overturned, media reported Thursday.

Blogger Vladislav Pozdnyakov received a two-year suspended sentence last December for inciting hatred toward women. His “Male State” page on the Vkontakte social network that espouses nationalism and patriarchy boasted more than 150,000 members before being closed to the public.

“I’ve been freed from punishment. The suspended sentence and conviction have been removed,” Pozdnyakov was quoted by the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper as saying.

Pozdnyakov’s case echoed extremism charges brought against a feminist blogger for posting jokes and rants against men last year. Russia later decriminalized a contentious law that law enforcement authorities had relied on to prosecute internet users.

A district court in Nizhny Novgorod overturned Pozdnyakov’s verdict based on this decriminalization, Novaya Gazeta reported Thursday.

Four of the “Male State” group’s adherents were sentenced from two to four years behind bars in Far East Russia earlier this month for creating or participating in an extremist community.

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