Russian Supreme Court reports decline in application of anti-evangelism law


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 21 October 2021


On 18 October 2021 the Judicial Department under the Russian Supreme Court published statistical data on the number of cases considered by courts in the first six months of 2021 based on article 5.26 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law of the R.F. (violation of legislation on freedom of conscience and freedom of religious confession and on religious associations).


According to these data, in the first six months a total of 153 cases based on this article were considered; this is fewer than in the similar period of the year 2020 (201).


Ninety-two persons were subjected to punishment, of which 56 were natural persons, 33 were legal entities, and three were officials (in 2020, they were 132, 90, 39, and 3 respectively).


Fines remained, as previously, the most employed form of penalty based on this article. They were levied in 89 cases (in 2020—180) and written warnings were issued in 9 cases. In five cases, confiscation was chosen as an additional penalty, and in one, administrative deportation from the country was ordered.


The total of fines in decisions that have taken legal effect was substantially reduced, in comparison with the first six months of 2020 (1,581,000 rubles); it consisted of 788,000 rubles.


We add that we have noticed a trend toward reducing the number of verdicts based on article 5.26 since the year 2019. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 October 2021)

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