Russian Criminal Code. Photo:

14 February 2024, 22:54

Lawyers treat property confiscation for fakes about Russian Army as punishment for dissent

Under the new law signed by President Putin, the property of those found guilty of spreading fake news about the Russian Army can be confiscated, but this sanction cannot apply to those convicted under this article before the law was signed, lawyers have explained, adding that the new law is aimed to further intimidate dissidents.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the article on the public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Russian Armed Forces was introduced on March 4, 2022, after the start of Russia's special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For example, the journalist, Alexander Nozdrinov, was sentenced to 8.5 years in colony under this article.

In fact, this article prohibits any criticism of the authorities and military actions, which violates citizens' right to the freedom of self-expression, the human rights project "Support for Political Prisoners. Memorial" asserts, adding in its website that "a citizen cannot know in advance what information may be considered false in a given context."

President Vladimir Putin signed a law on confiscation of property used to spread knowingly false information about the Russian Army, as well as to call for action against the country's security.

The people subject to criminal prosecution for fake news about the Russian Army now risk having their property confiscated, Timofei Shirokov, a lawyer, has noted. "But it won't affect those who have already been punished for fakes," he has suggested.

Mr Shirokov has added that it is not yet clear whether the authors of pacifist posts in social networks living in Russia will face the same harsh approach in terms of property confiscation as those who had left the country, who openly support Ukraine or even fight on its side. But the latter may also be subject to more stringent criminal charges, which may also include property confiscation.

Akhmed Akhmedov, a coach from Dagestan, has left to fight on the side of Ukraine; and Ibragim Yaganov*, an activist, has announced the creation of the "Circassian volunteer battalion" in Ukraine. In Russia, a criminal case has been opened against Akhmedov for treason, while Yaganov* is suspected of publicly justifying terrorism.

Valery Shukhardin, a lawyer, has noted that it is not clear from the law how property confiscation will be applied in case of a non-economic crime. "Property obtained as a result of criminal activity is usually subject to confiscation. But in this case, we see a violation of the right to private property," he believes.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 14, 2024 at 06:51 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Nakhim Shelomanov Source: СK correspondent

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