Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Archive for August 23rd, 2009

Russia: list of extremist materials include Winnie the Pooh + Swiss flag

Posted by Info on 23/08/2009

The Moscow Times: The law on extremism, which stipulated the creation of the list of extremist materials as a tool to fight extremist propaganda, was adopted in 2002, but the first entries onto the list appeared only in 2007.

The Justice Ministry published the latest — and biggest — update to its list of extremist materials on its web site this week, and many of the 414 new entries are so vague or controversial that analysts say they threaten to discredit the list all together.

The list is important because police officers and other law enforcement officials use it in street checks, apartment searches and criminal cases.

Among the new entries, extremist material is identified as “a picture of Winnie the Pooh wearing a swastika,” “a self-made template for a future newspaper, comic or other print materials,” and “a flag with a cross.”

The flag entry theoretically makes it an offense to produce or distribute Georgian or Swiss flags and Russian Orthodox banners, all of which have crosses on them.

Even the possession of these materials in mass quantities — and it is up to a court is to decide how many items comprise a “mass” in each individual case — carries the threat of punishment.

A Justice Ministry spokeswoman said Thursday that the ministry has no authority to modify or in any other way change the list, which is based on court decisions defining extremist materials.

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Total review of Ingush police

Posted by Info on 23/08/2009

The southern Russian republic was rocked on Monday when at least 24 people were killed and 136 injured in a truck bombing, the worst terrorist attack in the republic for several years. The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said it could have been prevented, fired the republic’s interior minister and ordered a probe into police activities.

“Every employee of Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry should be reevaluated in the immediate future” Rashid Nurgaliyev, the Russia Interior Minister, said and also ordered an immediate review of security at all facilities of federal and regional interior ministries in the North Caucasus.

“I am giving instructions for the inspection within the next two days of all Interior Ministry facilities on the territory of the North Caucasus regarding anti-terrorist security.”

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