Anti-racism: They were “joking”…

Lawyers from ADC Memorial have filed to initiate proceedings regarding the posting of flyers with extremist content in the city of Opochka, Pskov Region.

This story began in the middle of July, when residents of Opochka noticed flyers with shocking content posted on street signs. All of these posted materials contained offensive statements directed at the local Roma, calls to kick them out of the city, and swastikas. The name and surname of the authors of the posted materials were written in large letters-I. Borisov and I. Fedorov. At the request of the residents who found the flyers, the local prosecutor’s office began an investigation and fairly quickly found the flyer’s real authors-Yu. A Leonova and A. A. Krylov. Ms. Leonova did not hide that she had had a serious conflict with Borisov and Fedorov at work, and in order to get back at them, she made these flyers and had her common-law husband Krylov hang them up around the city in places predominately populated by Roma. Leonova was hoping that offended Roma would come to “sort things out” with Borisov and Fedorov and scare them. She expected that nothing more than simple “payback,” in her words, would result from the posting of these flyers, full of offensive remarks about Roma, swastikas, and calls to expel the Roma from town.

In the end, the local prosecutor’s office “enviably” understood the motivations of the offended woman: after all, all she had wanted was revenge but had just thought up a rather exotic way of getting it. Five days after beginning the investigation, the representative leader of the Opochka Inter-district Investigative Body’s Investigative Board of the prosecutor’s office of the Russian Federation in Pskov Region, lawyer of the 3rd class E. N. Shevchenko, announced a decision: this case involved no extremism, and therefore no case would be initiated. Moreover, even after linguistic expert analysis established that one of the flyers indeed contained extremist elements and another blatantly insulted the local Roma, the Opochka prosecutor’s office saw no need to initiate criminal proceedings, since the flyers were posted simply “out of jealousy.”

We will follow any developments as they arise in Opochka, but we would like to immediately point out that in our opinion, any public calls for nationalist violence, regardless of the motives that inspired the authors of such materials, should be subject to legal prosecution.

Natalia Shkurenok


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