PNR Newswire reports:
In an echo of the Soviet era, Andrei Piontkovsky, a Hudson Institute Visiting Fellow, has been summoned back to his native Russia, accused of violating a law that that has widely expanded the scope of illegal “extremist activities.” So-called extremist acts now include “abasement of national dignity” and “slander of a public official.”
Piontkovsky, described by the Washington Post as “one of Russia’s most pungent political commentators,” has harshly criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin in his Novaya Gazeta column and in his books, including Putin’s Soul (Hudson Institute, 2006) and Russian Identity (Hudson Institute, 2008). In a profile of Piontkovsky, the Wall Street Journal noted: “Civil-rights groups said the pressure on Piontkovsky was by far the highest-profile move to silence a Kremlin critic.” During a first hearing in September 2007, prosecutors failed to prove that material in Piontkovsky’s books constituted extremist activity. As a next step, the circuit judge sent Another Look into Putin’s Soul to a panel of “experts” to determine whether the material is indeed, by Russian law, extremist. Piontkovsky faces trial again on Friday, December 5th. He will depart for Moscow immediately following a Hudson Institute panel discussion of his new book, Russian Identity. The event will be held at noon at Hudson’s Washington office. For more information about attending this event, please visit www.hudson.org. Piontkovsky will be available to answer questions about his trial and the state of Russian politics. Hudson Institute is a non-partisan policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom.