A Russian fashion influencer named Veronika Loginova claimed she might spend up to six years in prison for using Instagram. The 18-year-old made a public outburst on her page and displayed the government-sent document.
According to a news report by Vice News, despite the fact that Ms Loginova solely used her account to discuss fashion and beauty-related issues, she was charged with “extremist activities.” On the social network, the influencer has more than 550,000 followers.
According to Russian digital rights NGO Roskomsvoboda, Ms Loginova is the first individual to be prosecuted after a Russian court banned Instagram and Facebook for “extremist” activities in March in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine.
Her post on Instagram in Russian, when translated to English, reads, “Now for maintaining Instagram I face a prison term of 6 years. Good morning, you woke up in Russia. And it’s not customary for us to talk about this, but I’ll say it. “
The social media influencer was in Paris when she got a call from her mother saying that the police had come to her house looking for her.
Ms Loginova further wrote, “August 17, I’m in Paris, a call from my mother with a trembling voice: “The police came to our house and they are looking for you.” At this time, my 14-year-old brother is trying to understand what is happening in general and why he has two adult men standing in the corridor with a statement. A statement in which, as it turned out later, I was threatened with a term of 6 years for using Instagram. And the words that “I stand out too much”.”
In the documents she claimed she received from Russian prosecutors, Ms Loginova is charged with “performing acts to lure users on the social networks Facebook and Instagram”. She also uploaded images of the documents on Instagram.
According to the head of the legal practice of Roskomsvoboda, Sargis Darbinyan, this is the first case of persecution of a Russian citizen on the basis of simply using Instagram. “With this approach, everything is under attack, even those who post cats and sell hand-made items,” he said.