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AFP
April 17, 2021

Navalny ally jailed for two years for ‘extremist’ tweets

World

AFP
April 17, 2021

MOSCOW: A Russian court on Friday sentenced an ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to two years in a penal colony on charges of inciting extremism online.

Pavel Zelensky, a cameraman for Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, in October posted two tweets critical of the authorities after an independent journalist set herself on fire and died. Irina Slavina, the editor of a news website in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, killed herself after police raided her home as part of a probe targeting an opposition group.

In January, Zelensky was charged with "public calls to extremism on the internet". Investigators said his tweets contained "threats and hostile statements" targeting senior government members.

Zelensky tweeted that he hated President Vladimir Putin and his spokesman Dmitry Peskov among other officials, adding that they did not deserve being alive. A Moscow court on Friday found Zelensky guilty and sentenced him to two years in a penal colony, court spokeswoman Marina Sviridova told AFP. Zelensky pleaded guilty to the charges, a decision his wife said was made "not under pressure" but in the hope of getting a lenient sentence.