Person of the Week: Andrei Bubeev

posted 9 May 2016, 06:58 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 9 May 2016, 06:59 ]
On 5 May 2016 a blogger from Tver, Andrei Bubeev, was found guilty by a court in that city of extremism and calling for separatism. He was sentenced the same day to two years in a minimum security penal colony and banned him from using the Internet for one year on release. As Human Rights in Ukraine reports, Andrei Bubeev, a mechanical engineer, was jailed for posting material to his personal VKontakte page that was 'critical of the current regime and especially Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.' 

'According to his lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina, Bubeev was charged over two pieces of material he reposted on VKontakte. The first was a poster by Anton Myrzin, otherwise known as Paperdaemon Chaognostic called “Squeeze Russia out of yourself”. The phrase hearkens back to a letter from Anton Chekhov to a friend in which he spoke of needing “to squeeze the slave out of us, drop by drop”. Here it is Russia that needs to be squeezed out – in the poster from a toothpaste tube. This was deemed by the Russian investigators and court to constitute "public calls to extremism via the Internet" (Article 280 § 2). He was also charged with reposting an article by Boris Stomakhin entitled ‘Crimea is Ukraine’. [...] Stomakhin considers Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea to have been the final straw, the border dividing this world from that, good from evil." [...] Stomakhin is now himself serving a politically motivated prison sentence, and Bubeyev, who simply reposted the article has been convicted of ‘public calls to separatism via the Internet’ under Article 280.1 § 2).' 

On 29 March 2016, Memorial Human Rights Centre recognized Andrei Bubeev as a political prisoner while he was being held on remand. The statement issued by Memorial Human Rights Centre concluded: 'Memorial Human Rights Centre considers that Andrei Bubeev has been deprived of his liberty for the sole reason that he expressed an opinion, and that this is in no way proportionate to the degree of danger presented to the public by the publications, albeit not always in temperate language, of which he is accused. We demand Bubeev’s release.'

Photo: Radio Svoboda

'Навеки поселиться,', 5 May 2016
'Russian blogger gets 2-year sentence for reposting that Crimea is Ukraine,' Human Rights in Ukraine, 6 May 2016
'Memorial considers Tver resident Andrei Bubeev a political prisoner,' Memorial Human Rights Centre, 29 March 2016