Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, 472 residents of the annexed Crimea have been charged under the article of the Administrative Code of Russia on the discrediting of the Russian army, according to the report of the human rights organization “Crimean Process”.
According to the monitoring of human rights defenders, in 424 cases the court made a decision to impose an administrative penalty, in 25 cases the protocol was returned to eliminate the violation, 12 sessions were postponed and as of today they have not yet taken place, and in another 11 cases the cases were terminated.
The report notes that more than eighty percent of all defamation cases were initiated due to posts on social networks or oral statements of citizens, and that the vast majority of decisions were made by the courts automatically, directly on the day of drawing up the protocol, in closed mode and without the participation of listeners and the press.
Separately, the “Crimean process” draws attention to the fact that out of 131 judges who took part in the consideration of cases, 69 are wanted or may be declared wanted by the Ukrainian authorities on suspicion of high treason. Another 25 judges were transferred to Crimea from regions of Russia, which means they are administering justice in violation of international humanitarian law.
“For one and a half years, the norm of the article on the discrediting of the army has been increasingly used exclusively as a tool to suppress anti-war and pro-Ukrainian sentiments in the territory of Crimea,” the authors of the report summarize.
- An earlier edition of “Vyorstka” published an analytical material according to which Crimea, annexed by Russia, was among the top three leaders among regions in terms of the number of initiated administrative cases about the discrediting of the Russian army. More often, this article was tried only in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- In March 2022, Russia introduced laws on criminal and administrative liability for so-called fakes about the Russian army and discrediting its actions. In a year and a half, the authorities initiated thousands of administrative and hundreds of criminal cases under these articles. Dozens of citizens were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.