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The Kremlin's spokesman inadvertently faults Putin for the explosion of ‘insane’ criminal cases against Russian Internet users

Source: Meduza
2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposes an amendment to Criminal Code 282, empowering the justice system to treat certain Internet content as a felony “incitement to hatred.” Putin argues that “the computerization of Russian society” necessitates new policing measures. Human rights activists warn that the legislation will be abused.

2014

President Putin signs the amendments into law. Human rights activists warn again that the revised statute will be abused.

2014-2018

Criminal prosecutions against online “reposts” skyrocket. In 2017, police open 571 extremism cases under Criminal Code 282, mostly targeting Internet users. Human rights activists report widespread abuses by the Russian justice system.

July 7, 2018

When asked about abuses of Criminal Code 282, Putin agrees that the police and courts should avoid “insanity and absurdity” when enforcing the ban on extremism.

October 3, 2018

Putin proposes amendments softening Criminal Code 282. The president’s spokesman says the changes are meant to correct “manifestations of insanity,” acknowledging that the enforcement abuses started when the statute was amended in 2014.

Photo on front page: Alexander Ryumin / TASS / Scanpix / LETA