Ivan Moseev (left) in court together with his lawyer Veniamin Belov. Photo: Andrey Shalyov
Oktybrsky court in Arkhangelsk finds head of the Pomor society guilty as charged of derogation of ethnic groups “Russians.” Ivan Moseev says to BarentsObserver he will appeal the verdict all the way to the Supreme Court.
Ivan Moseev is prescribed a fine of 100,000 rubles (€2,500) in the verdict saying he is guilty of violating Article 281, part 1 of the criminal code of Russia. The paragraph covers actions aimed at derogation of a group of persons on the features of nationality and origination being made publicly with use of mass media aids.
The accusation was based on the single word Ivan Moseev according to the version of investigation used in his comments on the Internet forum in April last year. Here the Russians were called “Scum.” The editor of the web site found that this comment had been sent from Moseev’s IP-address and informed FSB about this. Moseev totally denies his guilt saying that he has never used the words abusive to the Russian nation and considering Pomors as sub-ethnic group of Russian people.
His position was supported by most of the public organizations in the region and on the federal level including many national patriotic ones. Amnesty International is also monitoring the case.
To BarentsObserver, Ivan Moseev says the charges making the fundament for Friday’s court ruling is one of the dirtiest cases fabricated by the regional FSB service.
“I am totally low-abiding citizen. I am not a radical or an extremist. I have never taken part in the manifestations and demonstrations. I have never had any contradictions with the law, never had taken any criminal or administrative proceedings. On the contrary, I always tried to assist to an efficient dialogue between the powers and society,” says Moseev.
“Nevertheless, the state calls me an enemy using all its repressive power. In the beginning I was tried to be charged with the high treason and contacts with the Norwegian special services, but then they have got enough mind to refuse from these accusations. Later I was accused with fomentation for using a phrase which I have never used,” says Moseev after the ruling was read by the judge in the Oktybrsky court in Arkhangelsk.
He will appeal the verdict, but admit that he has little faith to that the regional court in Arkhangelsk will reconsider the ruling by the Oktybrsky city district court.
“I only hope that the Supreme Court of Russia is not yet a part of the vertical of power which substitutes Russian Constitution today,” says Ivan Moseev.
Ivan Moseev has been a primus motor in re-establishing the cultural and historical relations between Arkhangelsk and the town of Vardø in northern Norway.