Russian blogger jailed for 'extremist posts'


A Russian blogger has been sentenced to five years in jail for encouraging people to protest against high transport fares.

On top of the jail sentence, Vadim Tyumenstev is banned from using the internet for an additional three years.

The 35-year-old, from the Siberian region of Tomsk, angered local authorities by accusing them of incompetence and corruption in a series of online posts, the Daily Mail reports.

He had also urged people to protest a rise in local bus fares by attending an unauthorised meeting, which Tomsk's regional court described as an attempt to overthrow authorities.

Tyumenstev's lawyer said as public figures, it was appropriate for the local officials to receive public criticism according to Russian legislation, while the calls to participate in the rally "cannot be deemed extremist", according to the Daily Mail.

The blogger also challenged the conflict between pro-Russia militants and Ukraine, as well as urging the deportation of refugees. For those comments, prosecutors accused him of "inciting racial hatred towards people with refugee status in Russia."

It's understood Tyumenstev plans to appeal.

The jail sentence has faced criticism by both the Memorial human rights group, who called the sentence "outrageous", and prominent Russian blogger Pavel Pryanikov, who accused the verdict of being one from Stalin's time.

"We have quietly returned to the Stalinist sentencing for 'thought crimes'," he wrote after the trial.

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