4 Oct 2018 10:29

Agora says reposting cases begin to close

MOSCOW. Oct 4 (Interfax) - Extremism proceedings based on the information shared on the social media are now being stopped, according to Agora international human rights group head Pavel Chikov.

"Our lawyers have reported the beginning termination of criminal cases opened under Article 282 of the Criminal Code, importantly, this is happening on the grounds of insignificance. [Such grounds] and the logic of reasoning were impossible in the past," Chikov said on the social media.

A Krasnoyarsk investigator has dropped criminal charges against a social media user who posted a prohibited material, Chikov said.

"The defendant had 166 friends on his social-media page, but none of them liked the posted images, which means that the images did not cause any response or influence the behavior of the audience," the investigator said in his resolution.

The investigator noted that the user posted about 4,000 other images, which carried no signs of the incitement to hatred or enmity or abasement of human dignity. The user copied the forbidden images from various websites, did not post any comments on the images, and the images were posted at long intervals.

"There is no proof of the user's belonging to an extremist organization. The page was deleted, and no social danger was posed. The criminal case should not be opened due to the deed's insignificance, and the ongoing proceeding should stop due to the absence of formal elements of a crime," the investigator said.

President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill humanizing criminal law practice to the State Duma on October 3. The bill softens punishment for the crimes envisaged by Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code, including the sharing of information on the social media.

The bill suggests there should be no criminal penalty for first-time offenses that do not pose a serious threat to the fundamentals of the constitutional system and national security. However, offenses committed by a person who earlier faced administrative liability for the same reasons over the period of one year will be defined as criminal.

The president also submitted amendments to the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses.