Russian academic fined for offensive comment online
MOSCOW, May 24 (RAPSI) - The Arkhangelsk Regional Court has upheld a ruling that fined Ivan Moseyev, 47, head of the Pomor Institute of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities for an offensive comment he made online, his attorney Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told RAPSI on Friday.
"The court considered Moseyev's appeal and has upheld the lower court ruling which convicted the academic of insulting Russians as an ethnic group and required him to pay a fine of 100,000 rubles ($3,180)," he said. The ruling has come into effect.
The Oktyabrsky District Court in March ruled that Moseyev was the author of an offensive comment posted on a news agency website and levied a fine on him. A case against Moseyev was initiated on the basis of a Federal Security Service investigation.
Moseyev was charged with "actions aimed at publicly humiliating an ethnic group via the use of the mass media."
The investigation against Moseyev was launched after an offensive comment was posted on the Ekho Russkogo Severa website in April 2012. The comment read: "What can you do to us? You trash are millions in number, while we are 2,000 people."
According to the investigators, the comment was posted by Moseyev, who was referring to Russians as "trash." Moseyev, who is a champion of the Pomors (the descendants of Russian settlers living on the White Sea coast) denies having posted the comment.
Moseyev heads the Pomor Institute of Indigenous Peoples and Minorities, a think tank at the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. He also campaigns to have the Pomors recognized as a small indigenous people of the North. This status will enable them to change the hunting and land-use policies in the area.