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Russia Jails Comedian, Then Expels Him

By Human Rights Watch
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Click to expand Image Idrak Mirzalizade, June 2021. © Idrak Mirzalizade/YouTube In an outrageous move, the Russian Interior Ministry announced today it has banned a stand-up comedian, Idrak Mirzalizade, from Russia for life, over a joke he told which Russian authorities consider insulting to ethnic Russians. Mirzalizade, a Belarussian national of Azerbaijani origin, told the joke during a comedy program that aired online in March 2021. He spoke at length about the prevalence of open racism in Russia, in the context of discrimination in the real estate rentals market against non-Slavic…


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