Man Gets 1 Year in Prison for Insulting Russian Flag

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A 28-year-old man was sentenced to a year and three months in jail for insulting the Russian flag in court, prosecutors said on Friday.

The central Russian court said Andrei Stupnikov, of the Kirov Region, “removed the tricolor national flag from a flagpole and threw it outside from a window.”

Stupnikov allegedly appeared in court on December 1, 2012, “while drunk.”

The incident occurred when a judge made a decision Stupnikov considered “unjustified.”

The court said he insulted the flag "due to his personal hostile attitude to Russian justice.”

A repeat offender, Stupnikov had just gotten out of jail and had received multiple administrative penalties.

In some countries any use of a flag in an unconventional manner, like removing it and throwing it out of window, is considered desecration. Desecration of the national flag of the Russian federation is a punishable offence. Russian federal law states that violation of the national flag or the national emblem is punishable by imprisonment up to one year or by forced labor for the same term.

The Russian embassy in Japan in 2011 demanded a criminal case be launched by the Japanese government after Japanese protesters dragged the Russian flag upon the ground. The protest was over the sovereignty dispute of the South Kuril Islands.

Sources: Zee News, Rianovosti