Media: human rights activists reported about 200 cases of prosecution for fakes about the coronavirus

From April 2020 law enforcement authorities filed at least 33 criminal cases under article 207.1 of the criminal code for fakes. This is stated in the report of the solicitor international human rights group “Agora” Stanislav Seleznev “Epidemic of fakes: to combat coronavirus as a threat to free speech” based on open data, media, government, GUS “Justice” and the records in the production of lawyers “Agora”. The document is at the disposal of RBC.

450 days of monitoring from the date of entry into force articles of the administrative code of “fake news” — “Agora” recorded about 200 cases of prosecution for “spreading information which differs from official press releases.” The monitoring may not be criminal cases that were not official reports or media coverage, as well as cases on administrative offenses, while not mentioned in the media and not included in the SAS “Justice”.

in Addition to the criminal cases we are talking about the protocols according to article 13.15 of the administrative code, which appeared in the code in 2019. Seleznev said that the first year the article used a rather rare and mostly “local authorities only to deal with local problems”, but after the outbreak of the coronavirus in three months, authorities have made at least 157 protocols on administrative violations under part 9-11 of the article about “fake news”. 46 of them have already ended in a guilty court ruling. While in 20 cases proceedings were discontinued.

a Month ago in the press center of the interior Ministry reported that in April it was revealed 21 crimes associated with the distribution of fakes. We are talking about the article 207.1 of the criminal code. Earlier, the Supreme court (SC) gave explanations on how to engage citizens accountable for fakes about the coronavirus. Criminal responsibility cannot be held for fakes about the coronavirus if they come to 1 April 2020 (that day came into force the law on punishments for the fake).

If the fake was posted before April 1, and then the story is “spun” on, author fake can be held criminally liable only for those actions which have been executed since 1 April. Obligatory condition of responsibility is a socially dangerous consequences because fake.

Fakes of coronavirus is regarded as a criminal act only if they pose a real danger to the public, and, for example, if the aim is to sow panic and disruption of public order. We are talking not only about media publications or social media posts, but also on rallies and leaflets.

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