Constitutional Court hearing case of Ildar Dadin

posted 26 Jan 2017, 05:03 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 26 Jan 2017, 05:04 ]
24 January 2017


This is a chance to rule unconstitutional and repeal the article that allows for the prosecution of peaceful demonstrators. It is also a chance to review Ildar Dadin’s sentence and aid in his speedy release.

On day one of the court hearing, it emerged that the Office of the General Prosecutor of Russia believes that the article providing for criminal liability for repeated violations of the rules for conducting public events, under which Ildar Dadin was convicted, does not violate the Constitution, Aleksandr Kurennoi, an official representative of the Office, told Interfax.

He added that given the criminalization of the administrative violation committed multiple times, “one must judge not by the public danger of these acts, but by the ‘danger’ of specific individuals.”

Mikhail Krotov, the Russian President’s representative to the Constitutional Court, stated on Tuesday at the hearing that Dadin’s appeal should not be allowed, since repeated violations of the law “attest to the informed choice of unlawful behavior,” Radio Svoboda reports.

Andrei Klishas, the representative of the Federation Council to the Constitutional Court, admitted that Article 212.1 needs “improvement.”

Earlier, Vladimir Malinovsky, Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia, supported Dadin’s position. According to Malinovsky, the repeated violation at the protest was hardly dangerous enough to the public to be recognized as a crime.

It bears noting that Dadin’s main requests in connection with his defence were rejected by the Court.

“All five representatives of the government—Mikhail Barshchevsky, Mikhail Krotov, Andrei Klishas, Tatyana Kasaeva, and Tatyana Vasileva—spoke against approval of Dadin’s appeal. The opinion was also expressed that Article 212.1 not only need not be repealed, but in fact should be made more rigorous. Gaik Maryan, a representative from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that large-scale activities present the largest danger to the public in Russia,” reports Novaya Gazeta.

Ivan Kondratenko, of Amnesty International, reports on Facebook of the events surrounding today’s hearing in the Constitutional Court.

“Anastasia Kovalevskaya and I arrived almost an hour before the beginning of the hearing, and we registered three days before.

“In the morning, they told us at the visitor desk that there was no space, but there was a crowd of students at the entrance.

“They—several groups—were led in in an orderly fashion by 8 am and were taken in according to a list.

“In the best Soviet traditions, you will be tried in a hall chock full of students, soldiers, and so on. And yes, of course members of the National Liberation Movement. They were out in the street across from the court ahead of time with signs so that Ildar’s friends couldn’t support him in single-person pickets[...]”

Amnesty International believes that the current hearing is a chance to rule unconstitutional and repeal the article that allows for the prosecution of peaceful demonstrators; Amnesty also believes the hearing should assist his speedy release. According to Amnesty International, Ildar Dadin should not have been subject to criminal prosecution at all for exercising his right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

After exiting the building of the Constitutional Court in St. Petersburg, some activists were arrested: Anastasiya Sotova, and the journalists Aleksandra Ageeva and Sergei Ainbinder, Anastasia Zotova told OVD-Info over the phone.

The activists were arrested for crossing the street in the incorrect place as they were trying to help a single-person picketer communicate with the police. The picketer was eventually left in peace, but three activists were taken to Police Station Number 1 of Admiralteisky District. Proceedings are already being drawn up against them under Article 12.29 of the Administrative Violations Code: “Traffic Violation as a Pedestrian or Other Individual Involved in Road Traffic.”