The Moscow courts have stricter judge of all detainees at rallies

In the first half of 2014 in Moscow, a record was set for five years by the share of decisions of the indictment under the article “violation of established order of organizing or holding meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches or picketing” (20.2 Cao): 90% of the time the courts make decisions not in favor of the defendants, in previous years, the detainees were acquitted more often. The data contained in the report “violation of the established procedure” of the project “OVD-info”, which publishes information on the detentions at rallies and on criminal prosecutions of political activists.

In other regions, to holding a meeting of activists, the courts were more forgiving. In St. Petersburg during the same period there have been 14% prosecutorial decisions, and in the whole country is 51%.

The study looked into the practice of judicial decisions on article 20.2 of the administrative code since the beginning of 2009 to 2014. In total, through the Metropolitan police departments in the last four years were more than 8 thousand participants of protest actions. The authors of the study concluded that in 2013, courts across Russia have received 2506 cases of violations at public events, and in 2014 — 2518 Affairs.

In the Moscow courts have dealt with a third of all cases opened in Russia on violations at rallies in 2013. In 2014 in Moscow has already seen two-thirds of all cases.

“For Moscow are characterized by a large share of the prosecutorial decisions, but at the same time lower penalties than in other regions of the country,” the report notes. In Moscow in February-March 2014 the size of fines ranges from 3 to 20 thousand rubles, and on average 10340 rubles.

The average size of a fine under article 20.2 of the administrative code in Russia, which constituted prior to the change of the legislation on rallies in the summer of 2012 700-800 rubles, from the second half of 2012 increased to 8-12 thousand rubles.

From 2009 to 2013 the conviction decisions on article 20.2 of the administrative code of the Russian average fluctuated from year to year from 50% to 60%, and in the second half of 2009 was down 42%. The conviction of all articles of the administrative code was at the same time, 81-85%.

The study authors also concluded that in these years the courts often return the case under article 20.2 of the administrative code back to the police station to resolve errors (17-29% compared to 3-5% in General for other articles) more often and finally stopped doing (10-16% compared to total 5-10%).

“Marked by a large number of prequalificati from one part of the article 20.2 of the administrative code to another (recorded in 40% of cases), which indicates insufficient competence of police and confusion for the law enforcement authority of article 20.2 of the administrative code, which became since the summer of 2014 even more difficult,” the study said.

The report is based on the materials of administrative cases collected in the framework of the project on legal assistance to detainees at mass events, as well as on interviews with detainees and lawyers. In addition, the authors analysed the quantitative data of the Judicial Department of the Supreme court and the text of the regulations published on the websites of the Moscow district courts and the Moscow city court.

In 2012 and 2014 in article 20.2 of the administrative code was amended: the maximum fine for the average participant increased from one thousand at first to 30 thousand rubles, and then — to 300 thousand rbl. Since 2012 as a form of punishment appeared mandatory.

Since July 2014 article 20.2 of the administrative code entails administrative arrest for a period up to 20 days; the penalty for the second violation at the rally, if it were admitted during the calendar year, a fine of 150 to 300 thousand rubles or arrest for up to 30 days. If this article were committed more than two violations within one hundred and eighty days, according to the amendments to the criminal code, which entered into force in summer 2014 against the activist initiated a criminal case under article “Repeated violation of the established procedure of organizing or holding meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches or picketing” (212.1 of the criminal code).