Staunton, May 15 – Despite widespread expectations to the contrary, amendments in 2013 to Russian law setting criminal punishments for offending the religious feelings of others have not generated a large number of cases or become an instrument of repression, according to the first-ever study of the law’s application.
Compiled by the Agora Human Rights organization, the 13-page report which the group entitles “Liberalization Russian-Style” (docs.rferl.org/ru-RU/2019/05/15/2c34ddd0-e18a-479a-949f-9bef068e6cad.pdf
He adds that one of the reasons that the number of cases brought under this paragraph of the criminal code is relatively small is that the judicial authorities have many other paragraphs they can use and are themselves more familiar with. If they knew more about this paragraph, there might be more cases brought under it.
Fortunately, they don’t. But unfortunately, many of the other paragraphs impose even more lengthy sentences and thus are even more chilling in their application.