13 February 2019, 08:17

HRC "Memorial" points to intensified repressive trends with Dagestan as example

From year to year, in Russia, prosecutions under antiterrorist articles is becoming more and more widespread, with a third of such cases being initiated for publishing on the Internet, a review of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" asserts.

The criminal cases opened under the anti-terrorist Article 205.2 of the Russia's Criminal Code are "confidently crowding out the fight against extremism, which is now out of fashion," the HRC "Memorial" has stated. A third of these cases are initiated for statements and publications on the Internet, but the punishments are harsher than for killing several people in the heat of passion, the rights defenders assert.

"The current practice of using Article 205.2 of the Russia's Criminal Code, in general, demonstrates extremely dangerous repressive trends," says the review. The minimum prison term under Article 205.2 is extended to five years; and in practice, court in most cases appoint real imprisonment, Darya Kostromina, an author of the review, says.

As one of the examples, the review, in particular, considers the criminal prosecutions of Boris Stomakhin, a publicist, and Makhmud Velitov, a Moscow's Imam. Velitov was detained in 2016 for the sermon, spoken back in 2013, the review says. The case of Megomednabi Magomedov, an Imam of the "Eastern" Mosque in Khasavyurt, is cited as a typical unfair criminal prosecution caused by a political motive.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 12, 2019 at 09:45 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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