CASE OF EXTREMISM BROUGHT AGAINST PRIEST IN KEMEROVO PROVINCE
NovayaGazeta.ru, 20 May 2016
In the city of Mezhdurechensk of Kemerovo province, a case regarding extremism was initiated against an openly gay priest of the Association of Christian Eucharistic Communities, Alexander Khmelev. He reported this on his Facebook page.
The case was opened on the basis of article 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law (Propaganda or public display of nazi paraphernalia or symbols, or paraphernalia or symbols of extremist organizations, or other paraphernalia or symbols, or propaganda or public display which is prohibited by federal laws), he told Novaia Gazeta.
Most likely the case was brought because of the publication of a symbol of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar nation (an organization ruled to be extremist and prohibited in Russia), the priest thinks.
Yesterday Khmelev was arrested in the Mezhdurechensk department of criminal investigation. He spent the night in the police station and then he was to be taken to a court, although the session was postponed until 24 May.
At the present time, the priest is considering the possibility of leaving the country.
Yesterday on his VKontakte webpage Khmelev reported that he had received a summons to the police department. The document says that Khmelev was summoned by a detective. (tr. by PDS, posted 23 May 2016)
CASE FOR PUBLIC DISPLAY OF EXTREMIST SYMBOL OPENED AGAINST PASTOR
SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 23 May 2016
In Kemerovo province a pastor is being accused of public display of an extremist symbol. It is supposed that it is for publication of a Tarak-Tamga image.
On 20 May 2016 a priest of the Association of Christian Eucharistic Communities, Alexander Khmelev, from Mezhdurechensk of Kemerovo province reported that a case had been initiated against him on the basis of article 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the RF (Propaganda or public display of nazi paraphernalia or symbols, or paraphernalia or symbols of extremist organizations, or other paraphernalia or symbols, or propaganda or public display which is prohibited by federal laws).
The priest supposes that the reason for bringing the case was the publication on his page in the social network VKontakte of the Tarak-Tamga image, which is the national symbol of the Crimean Tatar nation. We recall that the Tarak-Tamga is also displayed on the national flag of the Crimean Tatars. Law enforcement agencies could consider the Tarak-Tamga an extremist symbol because of the prohibition of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar nation. However the Tarak-Tamga, first, is not specifically the symbol of the Mejlis and, second, the decision to ban the Mejlis has still not taken effect.
On 19 May 2016 Khmelev was arrested at the Mezhdurechensk department of criminal investigation, he spent the night in a cell, and after that he was released. His notebook was confiscated from him. Consideration of the case was scheduled for 24 May. (tr. by PDS, posted 23 May 2016)
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