Atheist among first to benefit from Putin's intervention in extremism device


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 21 January 2019


On 21 January 2019, the Zheleznodorozhny court of Barnaul terminated the criminal case based on part 1 of article 282 of the Criminal Code against the student Daniil Markin. "The case was closed in connection with the decriminalization of the article. The payment of any compensation or fines by the defendant is not foreseen in this case. It is not a basis for rehabilitation, although we do not intend to appeal this decision," Markin's lawyer explained.


Markin was charged with demeaning the dignity of Christians for incidents of publishing atheistic memes publicly available in his personal page on VKontakte, from December 2013 to January 2017. The case became known in the summer of 2018, when it had already been filed in court. After acquainting ourselves with ten images of the eleven investigated by experts in the context of the investigation, we came to the conclusion that they do not contain any aggressive calls against Christians and we concluded that the prosecution of Markin was illegal.


From our point of view, demeaning the dignity of a group of persons included within article 282 of the CC should be generally decriminalized as an action that does not pose substantial public danger, although the amendments introduced into the article on the initiative of the president did not provide for such changes. (tr. by PDS, posted 21 January 2019)



by Oksana Pavlova

Kommersant, 21 January 2019


In the Barnaul Zheleznodorozhny court, a case against the student Daniil Markin, who is charged with arousing hatred or enmity (part 1 of article 282 of the CC RF) because of the publication of memes on social networks, was terminated. "The case was closed because of the decriminalization of the article. Payment of any compensation or fines by the defendant in this case is not foreseen. This is not a basis for rehabilitation, although we do not intend to appeal this decision. Before issuing such an order the court asked for our consent. We agreed," Daniil Markin's lawyer, Andrei Eremenko, told Kommersant.


Daniil Markin himself wrote on his page in a social network: "The expert analysis arrived; hatred for believers was not discovered! I did not have the strength to litigate in court another year." Mr. Eremenko said that the criminal case against Daniil Markin has gone on since May 2017. "That includes the investigation and court proceedings," he clarified for Kommersant.


Daniil Markin was originally charged under part 1 of article 148 of the Criminal Code of the RF (hurting the feelings of believers) and part 1 of article 282 of the CC RF (inciting hatred or enmity). However as Andrei Eremenko said, "In court the charge on article 148 was quickly folded into article 282." On his page in the social network, Daniil Marking previously reported that "in a thousand saved" memes law enforcement agents discovered in his page "10 items that had a religious theme. Roughly speaking. Jon Snow [Game of Thrones—tr.] lives, really lives. Stupid memes." (tr. by PDS, posted 21 January 2019)

Background article:

Revised law mitigates penalty for extremist publications
December 28, 2018

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