Komi Supreme Court rescind a penalty of 200 thousand rubles to the online journal «7x7».
The judgment states that there is no evidence that the fined entity in the materials of the administrative case is the founder of the newspaper, serves as «7x7», may intervene in the activities of the online journal and is a distributor of the disputed information.
"Editorial of the online journal at the time of publication of the above article was an autonomous non-profit organization", said in the decision of the Supreme Court.
"Indeed, Founder and Editorial of the "7x7" structure are different legal entities that provide editorial autonomy and independence. Lawyers of "7x7" did not understand why Roskomnadzor, the world and the city courts prosecuted the founder, and they pointed it out in their observations", the director of "7x7" Pavel Andreev said.
Lawyer of Media Rights Center Svetlana Kuzevanova believes that the decision of the Supreme Court of the Komi is unique in modern jurisprudence in cases of abuse of freedom of mass information.
"The point is not that the Court expressed some new, precedent position on this issue", Kuzevanova said. "Such judicial reaction is unexpected in the fact of illegal recognition of Roskomnadzor and lower courts decisions. Unfortunately, every year the clutches of law enforcement practice are more and more compressed. There are more and more cases of bringing media editorials to responsibility by Roskomnadzor for abuse of freedom of mass media, but there are less chances of a successful appeal. The Supreme Court canceled the judgments on procedural grounds, recognizing bringing the media founder to administrative responsibility illegal. It would be interesting to hear the position of the court as to whether the media is allowed to mention the "popular" name of the monument Eternal Flame – "Women fry a crocodile", or is it allowed only to residents, but not reporters. But, probably, it would be too bold for court", Kuzevanova said.
In September 2015 the news site "Medusa" published a test about Syktyvkar. Readers were invited to answer questions about the history and toponymy of the city. There was a question about how the people called the memorial "Eternal Flame". A month later popular blogger Ilya Varlamov arrived in Syktyvkar, correspondent of "7x7" took a short interview on his arrival and asked to answer the questions of the test of "Medusa", including the question about the memorial "Eternal Flame". After that, an indignant reader Andrey Kustov addressed the Komi Roskomnadzor demanding an investigation and bringing to justice the editor of the online journal, because, in his opinion, the national memorial name which was mentioned on the website of "Medusa" and in an interview with Varlamov, defiled the symbol of military glory.
Expert Council of the Komi Roskomnadzor, which included employees of departments and the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Komi Republic, has decided that the article contained a public desecration of symbols of military glory. The case file was submitted to the court, and the magistrate of Kutuzovsky judicial district awarded online journal a fine of 200 thousand rubles for a "public dissemination of expressing clear disrespect for society information about the days of military glory and anniversaries of Russia related to the protection of the Fatherland, a public desecration symbols of Russia's military glory, including those committed with the use of the media and (or) information and telecommunications networks".
Syktyvkar City Court rejected the appeal, in which the online journal requested to cancel the penalty. The meeting was held without any representatives of the site, which claimed they did not receive the summons. In the appeal representatives of the «7x7» pointed out that the name to the monument was given not by the author of the publication, and cited statement was a stable expression, enshrined in the speech practice almost since the opening of the monument in 1981, and was not related to the theme of the sculptural group. Another argument was that this statement was not an evaluation of the events of 1941-1945 and the participants of the Great Patriotic War. Representatives of the online journal pointed out that the issue had no rude and abusive language.
Viktor Ivanov, «7x7»