The number of convictions for extremist statements declined for the first time since 2011

The number of convictions for extremist statements declined for the first time since 2011

Now for is often punished in an administrative order.

Analytical center “Sova” for the first time since 2011, recorded a decline in the number of convicted public statements on anti-extremist articles of the criminal code. In 2016, was made at least 181 such a sentence against 198 people, while in 2015 — at least 204 sentences against 213 people, according to the annual report on “Owls”.

In most cases the use of article 282 on incitement of hatred (173 convicted) and article 280 of incitement to extremism (22 sentences)

Experts believe that this may be due to gradual weakening of the mobilization of the spirit associated with the events in Ukraine, and with the suppression of the far-right movement.

A large part of the sentences imposed for the Internet, the vast majority of convicted users “In contact”, making reposts.

The Director of “Owl” Alexander Verhovsky considers the reduction is insignificant, since 2015 has been a sharp jump in cases. The “Owl” captures the decrease in the number of persons sentenced to actual imprisonment for public statements.

Sentences for violent crimes motivated by hatred, too, was less in the 15 regions was made no less than 19 of such sentences (in 2015 — 25 sentences in 19 regions), were found guilty of 44 people (in 2015 — 61). But if the number of convictions in criminal cases slowly, but reduced the number punished in administrative cases is growing significantly. Under article 20.3 of the Code of administrative offences of the propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi attributes brought to justice 128 (compared to 73 in 2015), article 20.29 on the production and distribution of extremist materials 161 people (in 2015 — 61).

Repressive law enforcement in cases of extremism begins to move away in the past, but there are more preventative — understanding of law enforcement methods, considers the expert of the center “Sova” Natalia Yudina. With this, in her opinion, is the increase in the number of materials that are blocked on the Internet out of court: if in 2015 the roster was made 133 of the site, in 2016 already 923 resource (primarily at the expense of radical Islamist content).

To link the fluctuations in the number of prisoners and administrative cases with law enforcement it would be wrong, argues the Chairman of the Duma Committee on safety Ernest Valeev: “Number of influencing factors is very large, and law enforcement occupies a very small share.”

There is a feeling that criminal prosecution for speaking out on the Internet is declining, said the lawyer “Agora” Damir Gainutdinov: “Rather, the government began to use criminal prosecution more cautious than before, and the emphasis is on limiting the spread of information through interlocks and administrative Affairs. Administratively it easier to report, it is cheaper in production since 2012, we have an exponential growth, in particular in the articles about the dissemination of extremist materials or the demonstration of the swastika”.

“Agora” also captures more sentences to actual imprisonment for extremist cases involving the Internet, the expert adds: “In our monitoring in 2015 were 18 such cases, and in 2016 32 article of justification of terrorism. Apparently, the authorities have encouraged self-censorship that people were afraid to repost and share information.”