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Russian Government Supports Tightening ‘Anti-Extremism’ Laws

28 May 2013 

Source: (info)
A commission of the Russian government has supported a bill to increase punishments for crimes of ‘extremism’, the website of the Cabinet of Ministers states. It is not yet known when the bill will be sent to the State Duma for consideration. Nor is it known at present what changes are foreseen to the Criminal Code.

The website of the cabinet of Ministers states that changes are proposed to the following articles of the Criminal Code: Article 280 ("Public calls to commit extremist activities"), Article 282 ("Incitement of enmity or hatred, or degrading human dignity"), Article 282.1 ("Organization of an extremist group") and Article 282.2 ("Organization of the activity of an extremist organization").

The bill has been developed by the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry’s April report on its legislative drafting, the bill to increase the punishments for crimes of an "extremist" nature was finalized in March. The draft was sent to the government with a letter classified as “For official use only”.

Currently the minimum penalty for the most widely used “anti-extremism” article - Article 282 – is a fine of 100,000 roubles; and the maximum penalty is deprivation of freedom for a period of five years, reports.

The opposition has on several occasions demanded the removal of Article 282 from the Criminal Code. Opponents of the article argue that it is used to suppress civil society activists. Under this and other “anti-extremism” articles the supporters of the now-banned National Bolshevik Party of Eduard Limonov have been regularly convicted.