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Chief librarian in Feodosia (Crimea) fined for displaying books on Holodomor

Chief librarian in Feodosia (Crimea) fined for displaying books on Holodomor
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

The director of Feodosia Central Library was fined for possession of extremist materials. Twelve copies of a book classified as extremist by the Russian Federation were found in the library.

In late December 2014, the Feodosia City Court found the director guilty under Article 20.29 of the Administrative Code (distribution of extremist materials) and sentenced her to pay a fine of 2,000 rubles. The books were confiscated.

The sentence was justified by the fact that the Grin Central Municipal Library and the Central Children’s Library in Feodosia displayed twelve copies of Vasyl Marochko’s book “Ukrainian Genocide. Series: Holodomor 1932-1933”, which is on the Federal List of Extremist Materials under No.1154 (the author is listed as “Morochko” on the list).

The Prosecutor of Feodosia stated that “the content of the brochure has an anti-Russian orientation. The brochure uses language tools aimed at inciting ethnic hatred towards a particular social group. The materials contain derogatory features and negative emotional assessments in relation to a national group and individuals and call for and incite hatred against an identifiable group, which can consequently be used to alter collective consciousness and promote ultra-radical and nationalistic attitudes.”

The library director explained to the court that she had learnt about the ban in September 2014, so the libraries had not yet had time to withdraw the books from public view. However, the court agreed with the arguments of the Prosecutor and found the woman guilty of an administrative offense.

Marochko’s book, classified as extremist literature by the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow on December 1, 2011, and other literary works were seized in early 2011 during a search of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow (general investigation under Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code). Subsequently, the case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

The director of the Central Library in Kerch was also convicted and fined two thousand rubles for “mass distribution of extremist materials”. He was guilty of the fact that the municipal libraries had failed to establish a content filtering system which would restrict access to materials classified as extremist literature.


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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