In Russia, in 2022, the number of sentences for participation in extremist and terrorist organizations increased by one and a half times. This is stated in the report of the Information and Analytical Center “Sova”. The authors believe that the growth of such cases will continue, as the number of organizations recognized in Russia as extremist and terrorist increases. In addition, according to experts, law enforcement in 2022 was affected by the war in Ukraine.
According to the report, in Russia in 2022, courts handed down 130 sentences against 264 people for participation in extremist and terrorist communities and banned organizations. According to the statistics of the Supreme Court, 155 people were convicted under the same articles in the first half of 2022 alone (for the whole of 2021 – 233). In the second half of the year, sentences were passed with the same frequency, while the number of convicts in this category increased by almost one and a half times.
The list of extremist organizations in 2022 was replenished with far-right organizations such as the “Men’s State” and “Nevograd”, as well as Ukrainian and radical Islamist organizations. Experts expect this trend to strengthen.
Sova reports 208 convictions against 220 people in 2022 for “extremist statements”, compared to last year, the number of decisions made has not changed: in 2021 there were 209 such convictions. According to experts, the majority of sentences – 184 – were handed down for materials posted on the Internet, compared to 2021, their share has slightly decreased. The share of those convicted for speaking outside the Internet has grown by a third – from 17 to 24 sentences. Among them were agitation in prisons, colonies and medical institutions, public speaking, as well as shouting in the street.
SOVA specialists note that law enforcement in 2022 was affected by a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, but so far the trends are unclear, since the investigation and preparation for the ban of organizations are taking a long time, the court decisions were made mainly in cases opened earlier.
In Russia, there is currently a federal list of extremist materials, where texts, musical works, and videos recognized by the court as extremist are entered.
As a manifestation of extremism, the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia, Yuri Khokhlov, proposed to consider Russophobia as well. And the head of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights of Russia, Valery Fadeev, proposed to legally define the concept of Russophobia and introduce punishment for its manifestations.
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