Russian court overturns woman's child pornography conviction

MOSCOW (AP) " A Russian court on Monday freed a cleaning lady who had been convicted of disseminating child pornography in a social media post decrying abuse, a case that has caused uproar in Russia.

Yevgenia Chudnovets, who worked in a kindergarten in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, was sentenced to six months in prison last November for posting a three-second video of child abuse in a summer camp, along with a call for the perpetrators to be punished. Individuals captured in the footage were convicted and sent to prison.

In a rare ruling, the district court in the Kurgan region overturned the November verdict and ordered the release of Chudnovets, who has spent three months in prison. The verdict followed President Vladimir Putin's promise to look into the case, in response to a reporter's question at a news conference in December.

Chudnovets, who was freed hours after the verdict, is now eligible for rehabilitation and damages from the state for her ordeal.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov hailed Monday's court ruling.

Chudnovets' conviction came amid a wave of criminal cases against Russians for various social media posts that began last year.

Rights activists and lawyers say the drop in violent hate crimes sent police and investigators scrambling to prosecute people for non-violent offenses to show a solid record of tackling extremism.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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