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Russian Supreme Court tries to limit use of "extremism" cases against believers

CONCERNING JUDICIAL PRACTICE IN CRIMINAL CASES REGARDING CRIMES OF EXTREMISM
Webservice 24, 1 July 2011

The Supreme Court of the Russian federation explained the standards of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation establishing responsibility for crimes committed on the basis of motives of political, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or social hatred or strife. In particular, the court explained questions of determining the objective aspects of such crimes and questions of determining the actual motive of crimes that may fall within the parameters of crimes of extremism. It also called attention to the fact that criticism of political organizations; ideological and religious associations; political, ideological or religious convictions; and national or religious customs in and of itself should not be viewed as action intended to incite enmity or strife. The court's resolution also mentions standards of international law that establish that the limits of permissible criticism of political figures are broader than those regarding private individuals.

The court explained in detail the objective and subjective aspects of such crimes of extremism as the organization of an extremist society and conducting the activity of an extremist organization, including possible activity of leaders, participants, and structural subdivisions of such societies and organizations.  It gave a definition of voluntary cessation of participation in the activity of an extremist organization. The court's resolution also touched on questions of a procedural character, particularly questions of a court's ordering an expert analysis for some informational materials, both linguistic and complex analyses, which may include in addition to linguists other specialists also (psychologists, historians, religious studies specialists, anthropologists, philosophers, political scientists, etc.).  (tr. by PDS, posted 24 July 2011)


RESOLUTION OF THE PLENUM OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
No. 11
Moscow, 28 June 2011

Concerning judicial procedure in criminal cases of crimes of extremism

The constitution of the Russian federation proclaims that the person and his rights and freedoms are of supreme value and their recognition, observance, and protection are the duty of the state (article 2), and it establishes that the rights and freedoms of person and citizen may be restricting by federal law only in proportion to constitutionally significant purposes (article 55).

The Russian federation recognizes ideological and political diversity and plurality of parties; no ideology can be established as a ruling or obligatory ideology. It prohibits the creation and activity of public associations whose goals and actions are intended to change by force the foundations of the constitutional structure and to violate the integrity of the Russian federation, undermine the security of the state, create armed forces, or incite social, racial, national, and religious enmity (article 13 of the constitution of the Russian federation).

According to the constitution of the Russian federation, the state guarantees the equality of rights and freedoms of person and citizen irrespective of sex, race, nationality, language, ancestry, property, office, place of residence, attitude regarding religion, convictions, membership in public association, as well as other circumstances; it prohibits any forms of restriction of citizens' rights on the basis of social, racial, national, linguistic, or religious identity (article 19).

The constitution of the Russian federation guarantees freedom of opinion and speech and forbids propaganda or agitation that incites social, racial, national, or religions enmity and strife and propaganda of social, racial, national, religious, or linguistic supremacy (article 29).

International legal standards in the area of human rights proclaim the right of every person to free expression of one's opinion, but they also stipulate that every statement in favor of national, racial, or religion enmity that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hatred, or violence and all dissemination of ideas based on racial supremacy or enmity and all incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts directed against any race or group of persons of different skin color or ethnic descent, or providing any aid for conducting racist activity, including financial aid, and all discrimination on the basis of religion or convictions should be forbidden by law (Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, International Pact on Civil and Poitical Rights of 16 December 1966, International Convention on Liquidation of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 21 December 1965, Declaration of the General Assembly of UNO of 25 November 1981 on Liquidation of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination on the Basis of Religion or Convictions, Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms of 4 November 1950).

The Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism, and Extremism of 15 June 2001 provided that terrorist, separatism, and extremism, irrespective of their motivation, may not be justified under any circumstances and persons guilty of performing such actions must be held accountable in accordance with law.

In the interests of realization of such constitutional prohibitions and of fulfilling international obligations, the Criminal Code of the Russian federation provides for liability for committing crimes of extremism.

In order to assure uniformity of judicial procedure in criminal caes of crimes of extremism, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian federation, guided by article 126 of the constitution of the Russian federation, resolves:

1.  In reviewing criminal cases of crimes of extremism, courts must guarantee, on one hand, protection of the public interests (foundations of the constitutional structure, integrity, and security of the Russian federation), and, on the other hand, protection of the rights of person and citizen guaranteed by the constitution of the Russian federation—freedom of conscience and religious confession; freedom of opinion, speech, mass media; rights of freely seeking, receiving, distributing, producing, and disseminating information by any legal means; and rights to assemble peacefully, unarmed, and to conduct meetings, rallies, demonstrations, parades, and picketing.

2.  On the basis of the provisions of amendment 2 of article 2821 of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation, crimes of extremism include crimes committed on the basis of motives of political, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious enmity or strife or of motives of hatred and strife with regard to any social group, provided by corresponding articles of the Special Section of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation [CCRF] (for example, articles 280, 282, 2821, 2822 CCRF, point "l" of part 2 of article 105, point "e" of part two of article 111, point "b" of part 1 of article 213 of CCRF) as well as any crimes committed on the basis of such motives that in accordance with point "e" of part 1 of article 63 of CCRF are recognized as aggravating circumstances.

3.  In conducting criminal cases on crimes of extremism, it is necessary for courts to bear in mind that according to point 2 of part 1 of article 73 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the Russian federation [CPCRF] the motives for committing such crimes must be proven.

Qualification of crimes against life and health committed on the basis of motives of political, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious enmity or strife or on the basis of motives of hatred or strive with respect to any social group—in accordance with point "l" of part 2 of article 105, or point "e" of part 2 of article 111, or point "e" of part 2 of article 112, or point "b" of part 2 of article 115, or point "b" of part 2 of article 116 of CCRF—excludes the possibility of simultaneous qualification of a crime on the basis of other points of the named parts of these articles providing for a different motive or purpose of the crime (for example, vandalism).

Crimes committed on the basis of motives of political, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious enmity or strife or on the basis of motives of hatred or strife with regard to any social group must be distinguished from crimes committed on the basis of hostile personal relations. In order to correctly establish the motives of a crime it is necessary to take into account, in particular, the length of the interpersonal relations between the defendant and the victim and the existence of conflicts with him that have nothing to do with national, religious, ideological, or political views or with membership in one or another social group or race.

4. As public summons (article 280 CCRF) one should understand appeals expressed in any form (oral, written, technological, telecommunications networks of general use including the Internet) to other persons with the goal of inciting them to perform extremist activity.

In establishing the intention of the summons it is necessary to take into account the provisions of the federal law of 25 July 2002 "On combating extremist activity."

The question regarding public summons must be decided by the courts, taking into account the location, means, circumstances and other conditions of the case (appeals to a group of people in public places, at meetings, rallies, demonstrations, distribution of tracts, display of posters, posting of appeals on telecommunications networks of general use including the Internet, for example on websites, blogs, or forums, and distribution of appeals by means of blanket dispatch of electronic communications, etc.)

A crime is considered to have been consummated from the moment of the public proclamation (dissemination) of only one appeal, regardless of whether it succeeded in inciting other citizens to commit extremist activity or not.

5. Courts should note that article 280 of CCRF provides for criminal liability only for public summons to commit extremist activity. Public dissemination of information indicating the necessity of performing illegal actions with respect to persons on the basis of racial, ethnic, or religion identity, etc., or information justifying such action, must be defined in accordance with article 282 of CCRF if there are other signs of a crime.

Public calls for performing terrorist activity in accordance with the requirements of part 3 of article 17 of CCRF should be classified not according to article 280 of CCRF but, depending on the circumstances of the case, according to part 1 or part 2 of article 2052 of CCRF.

6. In deciding the question of the use of means of mass media (part 2 or article 280 and article 282 of CCRF) courts must take into account the provisions of the Russian federation law of 27 December 1991 "On mass media" (with subsequent amendments).

7. Actions intended to incite enmity or strife, as well as demeaning the dignity of a person or group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, or members in any social group incur criminal liability in accordance with part 1 of article 282 of CCRF only in the event that they are performed publicly or by means of mass media (for example, speeches at meetings or rallies, distribution of leaflets, posters, publishing such information in magazines, brochures, books, telecommunications networks of general usage including the Internet, and other such actions, including the intention to acquaint other persons subsequently with such information).

Actions intended to incite enmity or strife must be understood to include, in particular, statements justifying and/or affirming the necessity of genocide, mass repressions, deportations, commission of other illegal actions, including use of force with respect to representatives of any nation, race, adherents of one or another religion, and other groups of persons. Criticism of political organizations, ideological and religious associations, political, ideological, or religious convictions, and national or religious customs in and of itself must not be viewed as actions intended to incite enmity or strife.

In establishing as a crime actions of officials (professional politicians) intended to demean the dignity of a person or group of persons, courts must take into account the provisions of articles 3 and 4 of the Declaration on Freedom of Political Discussion in Mass Media, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of 12 February 2004, and the practice of the European Court on Human Rights, according to which political figures who are attempting to influence public opinion thereby consent to become an object of public political discussion and criticism in the mass media; government officials may be subjected to criticism in mass media with regard to how they perform their responsibilities, since this is necessary in order to guarantee transparent and responsible use of their authority. Criticism in mass media of officials (professional politicians) and their actions and convictions in and of itself should not be viewed in all instances as action intended to demean the dignity of a person or group of persons, since with regard to such persons the limits of permissible criticism are wider than with regard to private persons.

The crime provided for by part 1 of article 282 of CCRF is considered consummated at the moment of performing even one act intended to incite enmity or strife as well as to demean the dignity of a person or group of persons on the basis of membership in a particular sex, race, nationality, language, or on the basis of descent, attitude toward religion, or membership in any social group.

8. The crime provided for by article 282 of CCRF is committed only on the basis of direct intent and for the purpose of inciting enmity or strife or of demeaning the dignity of a person or group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, or membership in any social group.

The question of whether mass distribution of extremist materials that are included in the published federal list of extremist materials is a crime, provided for by article 282 of CCRF, or an administrative violation of law (article 20.29 of the Code of the Russian federation on Administrative Violations of Law) must be decided on the basis of the direct intention of the person distributing such materials.

In cases where a person has distributed extremist materials, including those on the published federal list of extremist materials, with the intention of inciting enmity or strife or of demeaning the dignity of a person or group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, or membership in any social group, the criminal should be held criminally liable in accordance with article 282 of CCRF.

Statements of judgment or inference, using items of interethnic, interconfessional, or other social relations in scientific or political discussion and texts are not a crime provided for by article 282 of CCRF, if they are not intended to incite enmity or strife or to demean the dignity of a person of group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, or membership in any social group.

9. In distinction from violent crimes against life and health, provided for by chapter 16 of CCRF, committed in accordance with motives of political, ideological, racial, national, or religious enmity or strife or with motives of hatred or strife with regard to any social group, force used in the commission of a crime provided for by article 282 of CCRF is not only an expression of hatred with regard to a specific victim but is also intended to achieve a special goal—incitement of enmity or strife in other people (which, for example, might be demonstrated by the use of force in public places in the presence of strangers with regard to a victim--or victims--on the basis of membership in a particular race or nationality, accompanied by racist or nationalistic statements)

10. Persons who use their official position include, in particular, officials identified in note 1 to article 282 of CCRF and state or municipal employees who are not officials, as well as other persons, who meet the requirements provided for in note 1 to article 201 of CCRF.

Use of one's official position (point "b" of part 2 of article 282 and part 3 of article 2821 of CCRF) is expressed not only in the intentional use by persons indicated above of their official authority, but also in influencing other persons, because of the significance and authority of their official position, to commit actions intended, in particular, to incite enmity or strife or to demean the dignity of a person or group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, or membership in any social group.

11. In incidents of vandalism, destruction or damage to monumemts of history and culture, desecration of corpses and graves motivated by political, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious enmity or strife or motivated by hatred or strife with regard to any social group, the criminal is classified in accordance with article 214, 243, or 244 of CCRF. If along with such actions, other acts provided for by article 282 of CCRF are committed (for example, if slogans or images of corresponding contents are placed on the monuments, or nationalistic slogans are expressed in the presence of strangers), the criminal is classified as committing multiple offenses provided for by articles 214, 243, or 244 of CCRF and article 282 of CCRF.

12. As an extremist society (article 2821 of CCRF) should be understood a stable group of persons who were united previously for the purpose of planning and conducting one or several crimes of an extremist nature, characterized by the presence of an organizer (director), stable membership, and coherence of the actions of the participants for carrying out their joint criminal intentions. At the same time, an extremist society may include structural subdivisions (units).

In order for an organized group to be recognized as an extremist society it is not necessary that there be a previous judicial decision regarding the prohibition or liquidation of a public or religious association or other organization in connection with the commission of extremist activity.

A structural subdivision (unit) of an extremist society is a functionally and/or territorially based group consisting of two or more persons (including the leader of this group) that conducts criminal activity within the framework and in accordance with the purposes of the extremist society. Such structural subdivisions (units) may not only perform separate extremist crimes, but also fulfill other tasks for maintaining the functioning of the extremist society (for example, providing the society with weapons or other items used as weapons, and producing pamphlets, literature, and other extremist materials).

An association of organizers, leaders, or other representatives of units or structural subdivisions of an extremist society is created for purposes of developing plans and/or creation of conditions for committing extremist crimes.

13. Courts should understand that criminal liability, in accordace with article 2821 of CCRF, for the creation of an extremist society, leading it (or a unit or structural subdivision of such a society), or participating in it is incurred when the organizers, leaders, and participants of this society are united in the intention to plan or commit extremist crimes on the basis of their recognized common goals for the function of that society and their membership in it.

14. Criminal liability for the creation of an extremist society (part 1 of article 2821 of CCRF) is incurred from the moment of the actual formation of that society, that is, from the moment of the association of several persons for the purpose of preparing or committing extremist crimes and the carrying out of their intended acts for creating conditions for committing extremist crimes or demonstrating the readiness of the extremist society for carrying out their criminal intentions, regardless of whether the participants of such a society performed the intended extremist crime. Evidence for the readiness of an extremist society to commit the indicated crimes may consist in, for example, reaching an agreement to use force in public places with respect to persons on the basis of their belonging to (or not belonging to) a certain sex, race, nationality, linguistic or social group, or having a certain descent or attitude toward religion.

According to part 1 of article 2821 of CCRF, the creation of an association of organizers, leaders, or other representatives of units or structural subdivisions of an extremist society consists in actions which led to the formation of stable ties among such persons for the purpose of working out together plans and/or creations of conditions for commission of extremist crimes.

15. Leadership of an extremist society or its unit or affiliated structural subdivision should be understood to be performance of directing functions with regard to the extremist society, or its unit or structural subdivision, as well as its individual participants both in the commission of specific extremist crimes and in ensuring the activity of the extremist society.

Such leadership may be expressed, in particular, in developing common plans of the activity of the extremist society, in planning the commission of specific extremist crimes, in performing others acts for achieving the goals of the extremist society or structural subdivisions within it (for example, in the distribution of roles among members of the society, in organizing logistics, in working out ways to commit the crimes, in adopting measures of security with respect to members of the extremist society).

16. Participation in an extremist society (part 2 of article 2821 CCRF) should be understood as joining such a society and participating in planning for conducting one or several extremist crimes and/or immediate conduct of such crimes, as well as a person's fulfillment of functional duties for ensuring the activity of such a society (financing, providing information, conducting documentation, etc.)

The crime of a person's participation in an extremist society is considered to be culminated from the moment of the start of planning for committing an extremist crime or doing even one of such crimes or other specific action for ensuring the activity of the extremist society.

17. When a participant in an extremist society commits a specific crime, his actions should be considered as multiple offenses provided for by part 2 of article 2821 of CCRF and the corresponding part (point) of an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation, considering "organized group" as aggravating circumstances.  If the crime committed by the person does not include the aggravating circumstances of an organized group, then the person's actions should be classified, in accordance with part 2 of article 2821 of CCRF and the corresponding part (point) of an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation, providing for the aggravating circumstances of  "group of persons by prior agreement," or, in its absence, of "group of persons."

In the event that the person's crime does not include aggravating circumstances of an organized group, or a group of persons by prior agreement, or a group of persons, the person's actions should be classified in accordance with part 2 of article 2821 of CCRF and a corresponding article of the CCRF. At the same time, commission by participants of an extremist society of a specific crime as members of an organized group, in accordance with point"v" of part 1 of article 63 of CCRF, is considered as aggravating circumstances.
 
18. Only persons who have reached sixteen years of age may be considered criminals under article 2821 of CCRF. Persons aged 14 to 16 who have committed specific crimes along with members of an extremist society are criminally liable only for those crimes that are provided for by law for 14-year-olds (article 20 of CCRF).

19. In accordance with article 1 of the federal law "On combating extremist activity," terrorist activity is equivalent to extremist activity (extremism).  With this in mind, in reviewing cases of crimes provided for by article 282 of CCRF it is necessary to include with public or religious associations or other organizations with regard to which a court has rendered a legal decision regarding their liquidation or prohibition in connection with extremist activity organizations included in special lists in accordance with article 9 of the federal law "On combating extremist activity" and article 24 of the federal law of 6 March 2006 "On combating terrorism."

The courts' attention is called to the fact that, in accordance with the resolutions of the government of the Russian federation of 15 October 2007 and 14 July 2006, such lists are subject to official publication in "Rossiiskaia gazeta."

20. As the organizing of the activity of a public or religious association or other organization with respect to which a court has rendered a legal decision for its liquidation or prohibition on activity in connection with extremist activity (part 1 of article 282 of CCRF) should be understood actions of an organizational character intended to continue or revive illegal activity of a banned organization (for example, holding meetings, organizing recruitment of new members, parades, opening bank accounts not associated with the procedure of liquidation).

As participation in the activity of an extremist organization (part 2 of article 282 of CCRF) should be understood a person's performing intentional actions aimed at achieving the goals of an extremist organization (conducting conversations for propaganda of the activity of the banned organization, recruitment of new participants, immediate participation in events, etc.).

When an organizer (leader) or participant of an extremist organization commits a specific crime, his actions should be classified as multiple crimes, provided for by part 1 or part 2 of article 2822 of CCRF and a corresponding article of the Criminal Code of the Russian federation.

21. In resolving the question of the demarcation of crimes provided for by article 282 of CCRF and administrative law violations provided for by article 20.28 of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law, it is necessary to take into account that the organization of the activity and participation in the activity of a public or religious association with respect to which a legal decision for banning its activity has been rendered incur administrative liability, and the commission of such actions where there is a legal decision for the liquidation or prohibition of the activity of a public or religious association in connection with its conducting extremist activity incurs criminal liability.

22. In accordance with a note to article 2822 of CCRF, a person who voluntarily ceases participation in the activity of a public or religious association or other organization, with regard to which a court has rendered a legal decision for liquidation or prohibition of activity in connection with performance of extremist activity, is free of criminal liability if his actions do not contain some other crime.

Voluntary cessation of participation in the activity of an extremist organization should be understood as a person's ceasing criminal activity while recognizing the possibility of continuing it. It may be expressed, for example, in leaving the membership of the extremist organization, disobeying the orders of its leaders, refusing to commit other actions that support the the existence of the organization, or refusing to commit crimes.

23. When necessary, a linguistic expert analysis may be ordered for determining the intent of informational materials. The expert analysis may include, besides linguists, specialists in an appropriate area of knowledge (psychologists, historians, religious studies scholars, anthropologists, philosophers, political scientists, and others). In such a case, a complex expert analysis is indicated.

When a judicial expert analysis is ordered in cases of extremist crimes, an expert may not be given legal questions that are not within his competence and whose resolution lies exclusively within the competence of the court. In particular, experts may not be asked whether a text contains calls for extremist activity or whether informational materials are intended to incite enmity or strife.

On the basis of the provisions of article 198 of CPCRF [procedural code], courts reviewing criminal cases of extremist crimes must provide the defendant the opportunity to be acquainted with the order appointing a judicial expert analysis regardless of its form, and with the expert conclusions or report that a conclusion is impossible; and to challenge an expert or to petition for conducting a judicial analysis at another expert institution or including as an expert a person named by him or conducting the judicial analysis in a specific expert institution or including in the order for expert analysis supplementary questions for the expert.

On the basis of the provisions of part 4 of article 271 of CPCRF, when reviewing criminal cases of extremist crimes, the court does not have the right to refuse to grant a petition for questioning in the trial a person in the capacity of a specialist, who appears in the trial on the initiative of any party. At the same time, the court must ascertain whether such a person possesses special knowledge in the matter that is the subject of the judicial investigation.

In accordance with part 1 of article 69, point 3 of part 2 of article 70, part 2 of article 71 of CPCRF, the court has the right to decide to dismiss a specialist in the event of not producing documents giving evidence of the special knowledge of the person whose questioning as a specialist was requested, or of finding the documents insufficient, or in view of incompetence revealed in the course of his questioning.

24. Courts must ensure individualization of the punishment ordered for persons found guilty of extremist crimes. In ordering the punishment of a person who was younger than the legal age at the time of the commission of the crime, in accordance with part 1 of aricle 89 of CCRF the court must ascertain and take into account conditions of his life and training, level of psychological development, and other personal specifics, as well as influence upon older minors.

25. With regard to persons found guilty of committing crimes provided for by articles 282 and 283 of CCRF, in accordance with points "a", "b", "c" of part 1 of article 1041 of CCRF, the court must decide the question of the confiscation of money, valuables, and other property obtained as a result of the crimes, and any income from this property; money, valuables and other property into which this property or income from it was partially or wholly exchanged and transformed; and money, valuables, and other property used or intended for financing the organized group.

On the basis of the provisions of point "g" of part 1 of article 1041 of CCRF and part 3 of article 81 of CPCRF, the court may decide about the confications of weapons, equipment, or other means for committing the crime, belonging to the defendant.

26. Courts are advised in reviewing criminal cases of extremist crimes, in accordance with part 4 of article 29 of CPCRF, to identify the circumstances that facilitated the commission of these crimes and to call them to the attention of appropriate organizations and officials, by separate orders.

(tr. by PDS, posted 24 July 2011)

Published on 4 July 2011 in Rossisskaia gazeta.


SUPREME COURT SEPARATES CRITICISM FROM EXTREMISM
ITAR-TASS, 29 June 2011

Criticism of politicians and officials may not be equal to extremism, just like critical evaluation of religions or of any social group, expressed over a scientific discussion or in political debates. This was a decision a plenary session of Russia’s Supreme Court adopted. It generalised practice of judicial investigations of extremist cases.

The session suggests separating terrorism from extremism. For example, it says calls for acts of terror are not to be considered as extremism, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Depending on the case circumstances, it will be considered as a purely terror crime. At the same time, responsibility for extremist rhetoric will be applicable exclusively if the latter is made publicly, for example, in the media, on the Internet or at a meeting.

The newspaper’s experts “take positively the initiative of the judges, but insist on further amendments to respective articles of the criminal law. Member of Russia’s Civil Chamber Anatoly Kucherena is convinced it is too early to speak about unification of law enforcement practice regarding extremism cases. On the other hand, he said that ‘laws may be improved endlessly’.”

Head of the Communist Party’s legal service Vadim Solovyev speaks about the Supreme Court’s decision as a correct one. At the same time, he worries the power may use the article about arousing hatred to suppress the opposition and opponents.

The plenary session dooms politicians and officials to massive flows of unfavourable comments, as it believes that the range of criticism against them is much wider than that against individuals, the Trud writes.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda says that the issue has been on the agenda for quite a time, and the explanations have been wanted to stop legal collisions in cases of the kind. For example, where police or officials are voluntarily declared as a ‘social group’, and then any criticism of their activities is considered to be ‘fanning up of hostility’’ as a criminal case.

The Novye Izvestia quotes expert of the Sova information and analytical centre Maria Rozalskaya as saying that the Supreme Court’s decision is not only timely, but even revolutionary to an extent. “The fact that a legislator should specify the notion of a social group is a success already. Many human rights activists have been struggling for the decision for years on end. But let us see what it will bring in reality. One thing is to take a good decision, and the other is to see how it is being used,” she said.  (posted 24 July 2011)

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