We have been discussing the accumulation of power by the Russian Orthodox Church under Vladimir Putin, including crackdowns on free speech. The latest victim is Irina Kudinova, who was charged with mocking the Church with the photograph above. Russian prosecutors charged her after she simply posted the above picture which was curiously portrayed as phallic and indecent. They alleged that this posted picture involved the “deliberate desecration of a religious object” and “insulting the feelings of believers.” A judge has ruled that it is merely an Easter cake and nothing more.
Not only did the court drop the charges but Kudinova was awarded 20,000 rubles in a court action for false accusations and criminal responsibility for “insulting the feelings of believers.”
The prosecutors consulted with “experts” before the case was dropped despite the complaint by priest of the Temple of the Archangel Michael and his parishioners.
While the lawyers debated the intent behind the photo, there was no discussion of the woman’s right to be take pictures, even if she intended a phallic meaning. The Court accepted that the government could prosecute such pictures in utter disregard to free speech principles. Instead, it simply ruled that this is merely a picture of a cake.