Now officially. For extremism on the Internet, criminal liability is abolished (for the first time)

    Now officially. Russian President Putin signed a law on mitigation of punishment under the article on extremism (282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to it, dozens of Russian users were convicted for making a careless message, a photo or a repost in a social network. The document is published on the official website of the government. Now the charges against them will be dropped.

    The bill retains the same responsibility and terms of punishment, but criminal liability will only come if the violation was committed more than once during the year - only from the second case of violation. For the first violation only administrative responsibility is provided, that is, a fine, arrest or compulsory work.

    Changes to the Criminal Code are retroactive. The amendments come into force within 10 days after the official publication, that is, on January 6, 2019, writes human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov. - After the holidays, a lot of work will be started on annulment of sentences, recalculation of sentences and termination of criminal cases . Without a doubt, this is a big victory for civil society in 2018. How much the amendments will affect the systematic practice of criminal prosecution for words depends largely on us. ”

    Changes in the legislation are made "in order to exclude cases of criminal responsibility for acts committed once and do not pose a serious threat to the foundations of the constitutional system and the security of the state."

    The draft law proposes to state Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in a new wording, according to which criminal responsibility for actions aimed at inciting hatred or hostility, as well as at humiliating the dignity of a person or a group of persons, comes under the condition that they were committed by a person after his involvement in administrative responsibility for a similar act for one year (part one) or with the use of violence or with the threat of its use, by a person using his official position Ia or in an organized group (second part).

    Administrative responsibility for the first violation:

    For individuals:
    A fine of 10 to 20 thousand rubles, or up to 100 hours of compulsory work, or arrest for up to 15 days.

    For legal entities:
    A fine of 50 to 500 thousand rubles, or up to 100 hours of compulsory work, or arrest for up to 15 days.

    For legal entities there is no criminal liability for this crime.

    The president introduced this bill to the State Duma on October 3, 2018. As expected, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation have compiled positive reviews of the draft federal law. There were no comments from the government or the judges.

    When discussing this news last time, there were several sober remarks and comments about future changes in legislation:

    • In the criminal law the presumption of innocence works, but in the administrative law there is no.
    • “Conviction” of administrative responsibility lasts for one year. If a person re-posts extremism during this time, there are grounds for criminal prosecution.
    • The role of administrations is sharply increasing, now it will be necessary to actively defend it there. At the moment (December 28), the second draft law is under consideration in Federation Council, that is, at the penultimate stage of adoption, which involves introducing a new article into the Code of Administrative Offenses - article 20.31 "Incitement of hatred or enmity, and equally humiliation of human dignity." Her disposition repeats the current criminal article 282 with the fines indicated above.
    • In addition to this new extremist article of the Administrative Code, the three will remain the same. So far, there is the “main” extremist article 20.29 - “The mass distribution of extremist materials included in the published federal list of extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for the purposes of mass distribution. However, responsibility for it arises only for the publication of materials included in the corresponding list of extremist materials .
    • In addition to this, in the Administrative Code there is another article for the publication of the swastika and other prohibited symbols. And rather rare article 13.37 , concerning only owners of audiovisual service.

    “In general, the CPC operatives [Center for Countering Extremism MIA - approx. Ed.] it will now be more difficult to work; it will be impossible to sit at the computer and stamp criminal cases under Article 282. However, the bill does not affect in any way article 280, which has “Chekist” investigations. That is, there is a competitive struggle between the Interior Ministry and the FSB for extremist criminal acts. It is planned to complicate the police work, but there is no state security, respectively, ”- such conclusion was made by Pavel Chikov after the first news of softening of 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

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