Photo: Dmitry Neumoin / Lori
The COP saw a contradiction in the interpretation of the article about the violations at the rallies: the judge found that the responsibility for it may not come for participation in peaceful actions not entailing risk to life and health of people.
On Friday the constitutional court (CC) announced its verdict in the case. High, the judges felt that the new structure can be applied in practice, but given the interpretation of the article. So the action for which you can fall under the criminal liability, should not just be agreed with the authorities, and to create a threat of violation of public order — people’s lives or damage their property.
The other interpretation would have violated the constitutional rights of citizens, said the COP.
“The introduction of criminal responsibility for violations at rallies admissible if it is equivalent to the nature and degree of public danger — decided by the constitutional court. And does not lead to excessive criminal prosecution, and does not violate the principles of equality”.
In announcing the decision, the Chairman of the court Valery Zorkin has referred to several rulings of the Strasbourg court, which has repeatedly pointed out that countries should protect the rights of citizens to freedom of peaceful Assembly, and authorities should not impose excessive control over peaceful actions.
But it is the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and without arms — does not have absolute nature and may be limited to achieve public safety. Therefore, the separate criminalization of “illegal encroachments” is perfectly acceptable if the old mechanisms proved futile.
The responsibility may not arise for the participation though not consistent, but peaceful protest, said the COP. It decided to review the court decision in the case of Ildar Dading, who appealed to the constitutional court.
As the lawyer said Ildar Dading Nicholas Spasenko, he was surprised by the decision of the constitutional court. “This decision is welcome. This rule should not even exist in nature inasmuch as it is not only constitutional law but also international obligations of the Russian Federation arising directly from the fourth article of the seventh Protocol of the Convention of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he stressed.
The right to justice
The reason for the test article 212.1 of the Criminal code has become a treatment activist Ildar Dading, who was convicted for her first and received three years in prison. The disputed structure was introduced in the UK in July 2014 and has established criminal liability for multiple participation or organization of unauthorized actions — if a person within six months participated in more than two uncoordinated protests.
When considering the issue to the constitutional lawyers Dading — Sergey Golubok, Elena lipcer and Ksenia Kostromina insisted that the new composition contradicts the Constitution and violates the rights. In particular, the right to freedom of thought and expression (article 29), right to freedom of peaceful Assembly (article 31), the guarantee to everyone not to be convicted twice for one and the same offence (article 50).
“This article kriminalisiert those acts, the nature and degree of public danger, which is not commensurate punishment”, — assured the judges the lawyer Dove.
Besides, he pointed out the defender, by design, article 212.1 of the criminal code allow to put the basis of the judgment inadmissible evidence. Namely, protocols of administrative cases, which are compiled by police in the absence of the defenders.
“This violates rights of the accused to a fair trial and the right to protection”, — summed up the lawyer.
A special case
In turn, the authorities — the two chambers of Parliament, President, government and law enforcement agencies were asked not only to write an article in the Criminal code and made it tougher to further extend criminal liability to one year.
With this proposal, in particular, was made by Senator Andrey Klishas, the official representative of the Federation Council in KS. This proposal was motivated by the fact that provides the Code of administrative violations for the repayment period of limitation.
He was supported by the representative of the President Michael Krotov. He insisted that article 212.1 of the criminal code does not create a situation in which a person can be judged twice for the same crime. “The liability it incurred for systematic intentional disregard of the requirements of the law on rallies”, — were moles.
Harsh the punishment, the Dading is only a special case, not an established practice, was noted by the representative. He noted that the article allowed the court to impose a more lenient sentence — for example, the penalty or corrective works.
Dading was convicted of participation in three uncoordinated rallies and marches from August 2014 to January 2015. During the last campaign he, along with supporters (several hundred people) for a few minutes blocked the traffic movement on Myasnitskaya street in Moscow.
In December 2015, the Basmanny court of Moscow found him guilty and sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment in the colony. But then this period was reduced by six months on appeal.
Freedom Dading should be out in late July of 2017, so as to sentence the activist spent almost a year under house arrest.
In November 2016, around the Dading scandal — through his lawyers, he gave reports of torture. The young man insisted that in a corrective colony № 7 (Republic of Karelia), he was beaten and tortured.
Later, in the presence of defenders, he has denied these allegations. And then again sent a letter through a lawyer, where he confirmed the first version. In January, he was transferred to another prison No. 5 in the Altai region.