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Supreme Court of Mari El has upheld a fine to organization "Human being and Law" for publication in the employee's personal blog

The Supreme Court of Mari-El did not cancel the decision of the lower court on the punishment of a non-profit organization "Human being and Law", issued July 18. Human rights activists will have to pay 150 thousand rubles for the publication in the personal blog of one of the employees of the organization Sergey Poduzov.

Originally, the meeting on the appeal was scheduled for August 16, but at the request of employees of the organization court postponed it due to the fact that representatives of "Human being and Law" were on vacation.

After Judge Vitaly Bratukhin was convinced of the presence of all the participants in the case, he gave the floor to the lawyer Darya Pigoleva, employee of the organization "Public Verdict", protecting interests of "Human being and Law".

She noted that the law does not provide a procedure for marking individual publications of non-governmental organizations. According to her, registration of the legal entity or its representative on the site «7x7» as a blogger is not intended as an online resource provides a platform to individuals only.

The lawyer believes that the Court of First Instance did not assess the possible social harm caused by Sergei Poduzov's publication. Daria Pigoleva recalled that "citizen Petrov" who complained to Roskomnadzor did not come to any meeting and gave email registered in the name of another person. Therefore, in her opinion, the court's decision should be in favor of the person on trial. Pigoleva also reported that fine of 150 thousand rubles imposed on the social organization is undoubtedly major and payment is fraught with serious difficulties for organizations that are not engaged in commercial activities.

Commissioner for Human Rights in Mari El Irina Tatarinova, second representative of the human rights organization, asked the court to attach her new sentence. She believes that the protocol of administrative violation, compiled by the territorial administration of Roskomnadzor, is not based on the law and constitutional rights to freedom of expression of the organization "Human being and Law" and Sergei Poduzov were violated. According to her, human rights activist blog contained active links on the website of the organization.

Spokesman of Territorial Administration of Roskomnadzor asked not to cancel the decision of the city court of Yoshkar-Ola on the penalty for the organization of 150 thousand rubles.

Chairman of "Human being and Law" Irina Protasova says that if the decision of the trial court enters into force, the human rights organization staff will be limited in their rights in social networks: it will be difficult for them to repost publications. In this case, each time they will have to indicate their affiliation, entered in the register as a "foreign agent":

'It limits my freedom of speech, and it will mean that my actions in social networks will be monitored by employees of Roskomnadzor on an ongoing basis.'

Irina Tatarinova said that the definition of the Constitutional Court of Russia stated that the term "foreign agent" does not have negative connotation:

'However, if you take this case, there are signs of the relations to 'foreign agent' in a negative sense. Staff of Roskomnadzor did not provide information about the harm of publishing, for which the organization is fined for 150 thousand rubles.'

Co-chairman of "Human being and Law" Sergey Poduzov suggested that among the complaints considered by members of Roskomnadzor, and anonymous complaints have a common characterizing feature: in both cases the public authorities easily respond to unverified information.’

'The organ of state power should provide complete evidence. Evidence presented to us shows that the actions of "Human being and Law" does not constitute an administrative offense,' Poduzov said.

After consideration of all the materials of the case the judge Vitaly Bratukhin adjourned for judgment. As a result, he did not cancel the fine of 150 thousand rubles, imposed on the social organization by the city court of Yoshkar-Ola. Within two months, "Human being and Law" has to pay a fine. Chairman of the organization Irina Protasova said to «7x7» that the decision would be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

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