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Russian man given two years in prison for social media post

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A court in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg sentenced a man to two years in a penal colony Monday for insulting high-ranking state officials on social media. Vladimir Timoshenko, 43, was found guilty of writing a post on popular Russian social network Vkontakte that “contained text of humiliating and insulting nature towards high placed officials,” the court said in a statement.

Timoshenko wrote the post in 2015 while serving a six year prison sentence, the statement added without clarifying what his previous conviction was. In the post, which has since disappeared from Vkontakte, Timoshenko called on Russians to rise up against an “unpopular regime.”

Prison terms for social media posts are not uncommon in Russia. In December 2016, a internet user was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for publishing an article criticizing Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria online. In May 2016, a Russian engineer was given two years and three months in a camp for sharing pro-Ukrainian articles on social media.

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