Irek Murtazin

Irek Murtazin

Location: Kazan, Russia
55° 47' 47.5368" N, 49° 6' 29.52" E
Status: Under Arrest
Arrested on 26 Nov 2009
Campaign Site:

From Global Voices: On Nov. 26, the Kirov district court of Kazan, which is the capital of the Republic of Tartastan, convicted Irek Murtazin, a 45-year-old journalist and blogger, of defamation and incitement to hatred, reports [RUS]. The court sentenced Murtazin to one year and nine months of imprisonment in a penal colony (a form of imprisonment where convicts live not in a jail but in a special colony for prisoners).

About a year ago, in Dec. 2008, Murtazin - former head of Shaimiev's press service and currently an opposition blogger, aka lj-user irek-murtazin [RUS] - was accused of defamation against Mintimir Shaimiev, President of Tatarstan. On Sept. 12, 2008, Murtazin published a post in which he mentioned a piece of gossip about Shaimiev's death.

The rumor of Shaimiev's death was disproven on the same day, but the shares of the oil company allegedly owned by the representatives of the so-called “Shaimiev clan” dropped significantly, says [RUS]. In Dec. 2008, Murtazin was officially accused of defamation and infringement upon personal inviolability of Shaimiev (It is important to note that the court acquitted Murtazin only on this latter charge).

The trial lasted almost a year, and prosecution kept adding new accusations, blaming Murtazin for defamation and libel not only on his blog, but also in Murtazin's book “Mintimir Shaimiev: The Last President of Tatarstan. Part 1″ as well as in his news bulletin “Our Kazan News” (”Наши казанские вести,” which Murtazin described [RUS] in Oct. 2008 as a “print digest” of his LiveJournal blog).

Murtazin said he didn't agree with the verdict and would file an appeal.

Photographs from the trial are available here.

Articles from trusted websites about this blogger


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