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  2. Court in Komi closed an eco-activist's case for organizing an online flash mob against waste incineration

Court in Komi closed an eco-activist's case for organizing an online flash mob against waste incineration

Ivan Zhuravkov
Larisa Pelipenko
Photo from her page on vk.com

The Pechora District Court dismissed an administrative case against local eco-activist Larisa Pelipenko, who was charged with organizing an online photo flash mob against the use of refuse incineration installations — thermal destructors (Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation). This was reported in the Komi Against Thermal Destructors Community.

In early January 2021, Larisa Pelipenko interviewed residents of the Pechora village of Izyayu about their attitude towards the use of refuse incineration installations. According to activists, those who opposed it took part in the Pechora, Breathe Online Flash Mob: they were photographed with posters "Stop WIP" (waste incineration plant) and "Do not use thermal destructors in Komi!".

On March 17, the police detained Pelipenko. An administrative case was opened against her on the organization of an unagreed action (Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code). The case file states that on March 12, officials of the Pechora District Administration contacted the police and reported the publication of photos where residents of the village of Izyayu were holding protest posters. After the inspection, the police inspector found signs of violation of the procedure of arranging or conducting a public event in the publication of pictures of nine people.

The trial of the activist was to take place on the day of her detention. However, the hearing was adjourned to March 31. Activists urged citizens to write petitions to be admitted to the trial as listeners. As a result, judge Olga Porokhina dismissed the administrative case against Larisa Pelipenko due to the absence of a legal offense at the second hearing.

Plans to introduce refuse incineration technologies in the republic in 2021 were announced in November 2020. People have been holding pickets against the use of thermal destructors since December 2020. They have collected almost 2 thousand signatures against their installation and created a petition demanding that waste incineration in the region be prohibited by law. The case against Larisa Pelipenko was the first public prosecution of the thermal destruction's opponents.

Social activists have developed opposing opinions about the need to use thermal destructors. Some called it a "dangerous and evil experiment", while others stated that those installations produced a minimum of polluting emissions and would enable waste utilization in hard-to-reach areas.


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