Radio Free Europe, “‘Minecraft Terrorism’ Case Casts Russian Teens Into Legal ‘Nether ‘”

By Aleksei Aleksandrov, Kirill Ralev and Michael Scollon, May 5, 2021

Despite a lack of material evidence, and no established intention of harm, three Russian 14-year-olds are facing lengthy prison sentences after being charged with “training for terrorist activities” in a case that initially alleged the schoolboys were planning to destroy a virtual Federal Security Service (FSB) building they created in the popular computer game Minecraft.

The case, which has attracted widespread attention due to the age of the accused and the notion that child’s play could constitute terrorism, appears to have entered a sort of legal Nether — Minecraft’s hell-like alternate dimension.

Russia’s Investigative Committee earlier this year dismissed the original case opened in November against schoolmates Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko, and Bogdan Andreyev after determining that their relationship did not have the necessary structure, subdivisions, or distribution of functions “to regard this group as a terrorist community.”

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