Russian court revokes decision to jail activist over photo of ‘Smart Vote’ poster

On Friday, September 3, the Rostov Regional Court revoked the five-day jail term previously handed down to activist Bella Nasibyan for posting a photo of a “Smart Vote” poster on Instagram.

According to the local news site, Nasibyan’s arrest sentence was replaced by a fine. did not specify the amount of the penalty.

Bella Nasibyan was sentenced to five days in jail on September 2. A court in Rostov-on-Don found her guilty of “promoting extremist symbols” — a misdemeanor. The police protocol emphasized that the “Smart Vote” voting initiative is a project run by Alexey Navalny’s outlawed Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Nasibyan was jailed despite the fact that she has a three-year-old child. Russian law prohibits jailing the mothers of underage children on misdemeanor charges — but the court maintained that information about the child wasn’t listed in Nasibyan’s passport. According to the activist’s lawyer, her relatives were prepared to bring her child’s birth certificate to the court, but the judge refused to wait for them.

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