The Nail That Sticks Up

Continuing our recent focus on the decline of freedom in Russia, we see in today’s Wall Street Journal that Lev Ponomarev, an outspoken critic of the Russian penal system, has been charged with criminal libel:

On Friday, Mr. Ponomarev, a former aide to Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov and a colleague of opposition leader Garry Kasparov, was charged with criminally “slandering” General Yuri Kalinin, who runs Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service. Mr. Ponomarev has been calling attention to the often brutish treatment of prisoners in Russia’s roughly 700 penal colonies, some 50 of which have acquired reputations as “torture colonies.” He now is required to get government permission to leave Moscow. If convicted, he could face up to three years in a penal colony.

Story here.

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