Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Power of the Russian State vs. a Librarian |

Advocacy | Human rights | Libraries

Natalia Sharina at a hearing in Moscow in May. Credit Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 
There is something particularly Orwellian about accusing a librarian of hate crimes because books under her care don’t jibe with government propaganda. That, in essence, is what a Russian court did in giving to Natalia Sharina a four-year suspended sentence because the Moscow Library of Ukrainian Literature, which she formerly headed, purportedly carried literature that didn’t match Russia’s official version of what’s happening in Ukraine.
No matter that most of the books seized in the raid on the library in 2015 and cited by the prosecution were in special storage and not available to the public, or that, according to the library staff, the book deemed most offensive by the state was planted there by the police. The case was not about inciting “interethnic enmity and hatred,” nor was it about the spurious charges of embezzlement that were leveled against Mrs. Sharina. Read more...

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