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Russian Opposition Activists Fined For 'Inciting Hatred'

ULAN-UDE, Russia -- Two Russian opposition activists have been found guilty of inciting hatred and fined 100,000 rubles ($3,300) each in the southeastern republic of Buryatia, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Investigators said that Tatyana Stetsura and Nadezhda Nizovkina of the opposition Solidarity movement distributed leaflets in the city of Ulan-Ude in 2008-09 that were harshly critical of the army and police officers.

They also published a critical article about the law enforcement system in Russia in the local newspaper "Svobodnoye slovo" (Free Word).

Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges against them. But they also said that Article 282 of Russia's Criminal Code, under which they were charged, is "absurd because it contradicts constitutional rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of expression."

They said Article 282 should be abolished.

Read more in Russian here