An associate of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a blogger from western Russia have become the latest individuals to be charged for online posts insulting President Vladimir Putin under a new law that bans “disrespect” toward authorities.
People who show “blatant disrespect” online for the state, the authorities, the public, the Russian flag or the constitution can be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($1,500) under the new law signed by Putin in March. Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to 15 days.
Authorities invoked the law twice on Monday to charge blogger Sergei Komandirov from western Russia and Navalny aide Leonid Volkov.
Volkov is currently spending 20 days behind bars for organizing nationwide protests last year against an unpopular government decision to raise the pension age.
Meanwhile, Komandirov was charged for a rhyme under a social media post that authorities deemed insulting toward Putin, the news website 7×7 reported.