Disinfo: Russian punishment for participation in meetings are small, compared to the "humane civilised" world.

Summary

Anyone detained for demonstrations in Russia risks up to 20,000 roubles in fines (220 EUR, February 2021).

  • In France, participation in a meeting is punished with up to 15,000 euro or six months prison

  • In Sweden, demonstrating is punished with 2 years prison

  • In Finland – 3 years or 15,000 euro

  • In Great Britain participation in mass riots might cost 2,000 euro or 10 years prison

  • In New Zealand on might get 2 years prison.

As you see, even considering the difference in income, our punishment is much lower than what is the rule in the humane, civilised world.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Russia as more democratic than Western states. The claim is a regurgitation of an earlier claim in Russian state radio.

The claim deliberately confounds, on the one hand, legal restrictions on violent public behaviour in some Western states and, on the other, the quasi-legal concept of "unsanctioned rally" which the Russian state routinely invokes as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests. The arbitrary use of this provision runs contrary to international judicial precedent (see pp. 6-18), reports and opinions issued by international bodies (e.g. UN Human Rights Council pp. 7-13; Venice Commission pp. 18-26; OSCE pp. 15-21), and Russia's own constitution (Art. 31).

None of the countries mentioned in the claim have legislation stipulating prison time for peaceful protesters. In France, a term of up to six months can only be given to repeat violent offenders who ignore a prohibition to attend public demonstrations; in Sweden, four years is the maximum term for individuals found "demonstrating intent to use concerted violence against a public authority [...] and do not disperse at the command of a public authority" (Swedish Criminal Code, Chapter 16, Section 1, emphasis added); in Finland, only those found guilty of "public incitement to an offence" face up to two years in prison (Finnish Criminal Code, Chapter 17, Section 1), not three; in New Zealand, two years' imprisonment is the maximum sentence given specifically to rioters, meaning those who "acting together, are using violence against persons or property to the alarm of persons in the neighbourhood of that group" (Crimes Act 1961, Section 87); in the UK, a 10-year prison sentence is reserved for those convicted of rioting, and a five-year term for perpetrators of violent disorders (Public Order Act 1986, Sections 1 and 2).

The EU has condemned mass detentions and police brutality during the protests in Russia. Human rights organisations warn about thousands of protesters detained following the protests in Russian cities.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 230
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: New Zealand, UK, France, Sweden, Finland
  • Keywords: Western values, Russian superiority, Protest
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Russians bring truth to PACE: Navalny was rescued and not poisoned, Georgia attacked South Ossetia

We really convince people every month more and more that in Russia, it turns out, what is written in the Western European mass media is not happening. We prove that Navalny was saved and not poisoned. We show that on August 8, 2008, it was Saakashvili’s regime that invaded Tskhinvali and that the Russian peacekeepers also suffered, but Russia did not invade. We prove that there must be the truth here in PACE.

Disproof

The statements are not true. On January 25, 2021 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) published a provisional Resolution 2357 (2021), containing the following paragraph 9.11:

"Russian Federation: a number of outstanding concerns, including, inter alia, lack of pluralism, independence of the judiciary, restrictive environment for activities of political extra-parliamentary opposition, civil society, human rights activists and journalists, restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, association and religion as well as a number of problematic laws including the Foreign Agents Law, the Law on Undesirable Organisations or anti-extremist legislation, ratification of amendments to the Constitution that introduce major restrictions on application of international law and implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights; the lack of progress with regard to implementing the demands of the international community with regard to Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova;"

See also the previous PACE resolution on the consequences of the war between Georgia in Russia. Thus, the Assembly considers that:

"from the point of view of international law, the notion of “protecting citizens abroad” is not acceptable and is concerned by the political implications of such a policy by the Russian authorities for other member states", addressing Russian official claim of protecting its own citizens in South Ossetia. While emphasizing that "the initiation of shelling of Tskhinvali without warning by the Georgian military, on 7 August 2008, marked a new level of escalation", PACE stated that "earlier calls to discuss a change in the format of the peacekeeping and conflict resolution process were rejected by South Ossetia and Russia" and addressed the disproportionate Russia's response fire.

As for Alexey Navalny, the PACE's debates (without adopting a resolution yet) took place on January 27, 2021. As is clear from the transcript, the Russian delegation failed to convince other PACE's members that Navalny was not poisoned with the nerve agent and that his prosecution in Russia is not political.

Alexei Navalny was arrested following his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with Novichok-type chemical nerve agent. The European Union has condemned the arrest of Alexei Navalny and has demanded his immediate release.

Foreign diplomats meddle in Russia's sovereign affairs

Meddling in sovereign affairs. Foreign diplomats gather at Russian court to support Western puppet Navalny.

According to local sources, diplomatic staff of at least 18 foreign states, including those from the United States, the UK, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, are present.

Disproof

Court hearings are, as a rule, open to the public. Diplomats have the right, just as any other member of the public, to attend a court hearing. International diplomats are present to observe whether the Russian judiciary fulfils its functions according to Russian law and Russia's international obligations on human rights.

The unfounded and recurrent claim on Navalny being a "Western Puppet" is presented without any evidence. Similar cases here and here.

Navalny's poisoning was a set up against Russia

Moscow has reasons to believe that the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny was a set up. Germany has not presented any credible evidence that Russia poisoned Navalny with Novichok despite Moscow’s repeated calls.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning and also a pro-Kremlin approach portraying every measure taken against Russia's actions as Russophobia.

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. From Omsk, he had been transferred to Berlin and has received treatment at Berlin's Charité Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Navalny.