Jailed for a Like

Episode Three: Silencing the Poet

Jailed for a Like tracks cases of Russians who have been prosecuted or imprisoned for their posts, shares or likes on social media.

This is the story of Alexandr Byvshev, a poet and a schoolteacher from Russia’s Oryol region who was sentenced to 300 hours of labor for posting a poem about Ukraine that criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

In January, a second new criminal case was started against Byvshev for another poem about Ukraine.

The story you just read is a small piece of a complex and an ever-changing storyline we are following as part of our coverage. These overarching storylines — whether the disinformation campaigns that are feeding the war on truth or the new technologies strengthening the growing authoritarianism, are the crises that Coda covers relentlessly and with singular focus. But we can’t do it without your help. Today, you have the opportunity to double the impact of your support for Coda Story. From now through the end of 2020, a year’s worth of monthly payments or a one-time contribution will be matched, all up to $5,000. Support journalism that stays on the story.

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