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«Fascism Shall Not Pass» slogan deemed to be discrediting the Russian military

The Tverskoi District Court in Moscow imposed a 50,000-ruble fine on activist Anna Krechetova for protesting with a sign that read “Fascism shall not pass”, reports OVD Info. The language was deemed to be discrediting the Russian armed forces (Part 1,
Art. 20.3.3 of KoAP – Russia’s Administrative Offenses Code).

The court ruled that the phrase was “a public call for impeding the use of the Russian Armed Forces for achieving objectives of the special operation carried out by the decision of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.”

Previously, a police report was drawn up on Krasnodar activist Alipat Sultanbegova for a tweet that included the words “no to war”. Politician Ilya Yashin published a photo of the report, addressed to the chief of Krasnodar's police, in his Telegram channel. The reporting officer believes the activist’s actions “may be interpreted as an administrative offense under Part 1 Art. 20.3.3 of KoAP: ‘Public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Russian Armed Forces for the purposes of defending the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens and maintaining international peace and security’”.

Similarly, a court in Krasnodar fined Alexander Kondratyev 30,000 rubles for spitting on a banner with the letter Z (the emblem of the “special operation”). He was also found guilty under the article on discrediting the Russian military's activities in Ukraine. In court, Kondratyev stated that he condemns Fascism and Nazism and that the letter Z bears resemblance to the swastika.

“One can't discredit the armed forces by spitting on the letter Z. The letter Z is not representative of the armed forces, and spitting is not an act of discrediting. Expressing disagreement with the ongoing military operation is not discrediting either. Our right to disagreement is guaranteed by Art. 29 of the Constitution,” insists Kondratyev's attorney Mikhail Benyash.

The Central District Court of Tula invoked the same KoAP article to impose a 48,000-ruble fine on A.S. Sviridova for putting up a makeshift banner “I am against war” on her balcony, according to the regional judicial press service. Her act was interpreted as discrediting the Russian military, with the verdict passed on March 20, but there is no case card on the court website.

Human rights activists have reported 15,095 arrests at anti-war protests across Russia since February 24.

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