Law of the Week: First criminal probe under new two-day-old ‘fake news’ law launched against activist

Week-ending 10 April 2020

Russian Activist Says She’s Hit By First Investigation Under ‘Fake’ Coronavirus News Law

Russia has launched what appears to be its first criminal probe into suspected public dissemination of false information about the new coronavirus just two days after President Vladimir Putin signed a new law on knowingly misinforming the public into the nation’s criminal code. St. Petersburg activist Anna Shushpanova said on her personal social-media page on April 4 that local investigators searched her apartment a day earlier and took her computers and telephone after she posted local residents’ concerns about possibly inadequate quarantine measures at a clinic and hospital in the town of Sestroretsk in a group on VKontakte, a popular Russian equivalent of Facebook. 

Source: RFE/RL, 5 April 2020

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