News Releases

Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in July 2011
In July we recorded one dubious criminal charge, and several questionable administrative decisions. In some cases, courts rejected improper accusations of extremism, but more often such accusations were approved. Also, of particular note is the involvement of the Federal Migration Service in prosecuting charges of extremism against a trade union activist.
Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in June 2011
A remarkable event this month was the June 28 Resolution of the plenary meeting of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation N11 "On judicial practice in criminal cases involving crimes of an extremist nature." However, the usual trends remain rather negative.
Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in May 2011
This month we saw one significantly positive development: a serious clearing-out of the Federal List of Extremist Materials, which has long been plagued with multiple and outdated entries. Otherwise, we saw all the same trends reported in previous updates.
Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in April 2011
In April 2011, we registered the misuse of anti-extremism legislation in all our major areas of coverage: criminal and administrative proceedings, publications deemed extremist, and warnings issued to media sources.​
Local Jehovah’s Witnesses Head Acquitted by Gorno-Altaisk Court
On April 14, 2011, the Gorno-Altaisk City Court acquitted Aleksandr Kalistratov of charges under Part 1 of Article 282 of the Criminal Code, incitement to religious hatred. He was fully absolved of any wrongdoing.
Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in March 2011
In March 2011, all the same trends continued in the misuse and abuse of anti-extremist legislation, with at least two improper criminal, and one administrative, convictions. There were also wrongful decisions to ban a book and several films.
Tyumen Court Convicts Activist Andrei Kutuzov
On 14 March, 2011, a Magistrate’s Court in the Tyumen Central Administrative District sentenced activist Andrei Kutuzov to two years of a suspended sentence with three years’ probation. Kutuzov was accused of distributing leaflets calling for violence against the police at a rally in October 2009, which would constitute a violation of Article 280, Part 1 of the Criminal Code: public appeals for extremist activity.
Galina Kozhevnikova Dies
Today, on March 5, 2011, our colleague and dear friend Galina Kozhevnikova passed away in Moscow at the age of 36. Galina was a founder and director of the SOVA Center.

Galya was a daring and passionate person. Trained as an archive researcher, she went on to make her mark as expert in the field of nationalism and xenophobia in Russia.

Galya suffered a hard disease but went on with her work to the last.

We will soon publish Galya’s last review on xenophobia and racism in Russia in 2010.

The SOVA Center

Misuse of Anti-Extremism Legislation in February 2011

We invite you to have a look at our monthly review of state misuse of anti-extremism laws. Previously, our updates under the Racism and Xenophobia heading would have included the following, but from now on Misuse of Anti-Extremism will be posted in its own, separate update. In this area, the usual problems of abuse remained. In summary, our research shows that there were two unlawful rulings, and one contradictory ruling. In addition, four criminal cases relying on inappropriate interpretation of the law were initiated.