Anyone re-tweeting or sharing posts judged 'extremist' in Russia faces jail

New laws continue the internet crackdown continues in Russia

Anyone retweeting or sharing posts judged “extremist” by the Russian Government now face years in prison.

After several cases where bloggers and social media users have been detained over posts, new sentences for “online incitement” for religious hatred and extremism are being introduced.

Vladimir Putin has approved an amendment to formally establish criminal responsibility for using the internet to spread any pictures, views, articles or videos that fall foul of the Government.

Although officials claim extremist laws in Russia target fascists and Islamists, they have been applied to political opponents as well as an episode of South Park and Scientology books.

Russian government agencies have been accused of editing a Wikipedia article to suggest the Ukrainian military was responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Twitter account monitoring state IP addresses has claimed. Russian government agencies have been accused of editing a Wikipedia article to suggest the Ukrainian military was responsible for shooting down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a Twitter account monitoring state IP addresses has claimed. The President is known for his deep mistrust of the internet, which he called a “CIA project” in April.

In November last year, a blogger from the Siberian town of Novoaltaisk, Andrey Teslenko, claimed he was questioned by police about a video he posted on the Russian version of Facebook, VKontakte.

The video, called “Let's remind the crooks and thieves about their 2002-Manifesto,” was critical of Putin’s ruling party but had been created by someone else and merely shared from a site belonging to opposition blogger Alexei Navalny.

Mr Navalny has himself been convicted of libel over a tweet calling a United Russia party official a drug addict.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny enters court in Moscow Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny enters court in Moscow The prominent critic has been under house arrest since March and is serving a suspended five-year jail term for theft charges he claims were trumped up by the Kremlin.

Another blogger in Siberia was arrested last year for re-tweeting a photograph of an anti-government leaflet another Twitter user had posted calling on people to vandalise police cars and vehicles cars.

Russia has blocked 189 sites this year after prosecutors found them to be “extremist,” according to an unofficial online database.

Among Islamist websites, there were pages with details of anti-Putin demonstrations and blogs criticising Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Other laws are being brought in requiring foreign news networks to have their servers inside Russia, and making Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 followers register with the state, stripping them of their anonymity.

Read more: Comment - the internet was the last free zone in Russian society
Famous Russian blogger in libel case
Putin - 'the internet is a CIA project'
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...