Blogger Arrested for Pneumonic Plague Rumors

Filed as News on December 4, 2009 3:18 pm

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handcuffsA medical student has been arrested in southern Russia for allegedly starting rumors that pneumonic plague, a deadly infection that can be transferred between humans, would cause the city of Saratov (POP: 800,000+) to be quarantined.

The 22-year-old blogging medical student, Ivan Peregorodiev, was publicly questioning the 17 confirmed swine flu deaths in the area, wondering ‘aloud’ if the diagnosis was correct.

The government has accused Peregorodiev of spreading “deliberately false information related to an act of terrorism” (Article 207 of the Russian Criminal Code).

A campaign run by a non-profit organization known as The Institute for Collective Action has launched a campaign to free the blogger.

Read more about the story here.

Do you think Peregorodiev engaged in terrorist activities? Or are Russian officials punishing him for speaking out against them?

Earlier this year, Reporters Without Borders, ranked Russia 153th out of 175 in the Press Freedom Index, a gauge that is determined via questionnaires sent to journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists.

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