European Court to hear first appeal against conviction for extremism in Russia
MOSCOW, January 25 - RAPSI. The European Court of Human Rights began to consider an appeal filed by a National-Bolshevik Party member, who was given a two-year probation for distributing leaflets which called for eating in Moscow restaurants without paying for the meals, attorney Dmitry Agranovsky told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) on Tuesday.
"It is the first case that the ECHR considers a Criminal Code article providing punishment for an extremist activity (organization of an extremist community and organization of an extremist organization's activity)," the lawyer noted.
On July 29, 2008, Darya Isayeva participated in a peaceful political event at a Yolki-Palki restaurant. It was a protest against raising food prices, the attorney said.
Agranovsky contested Russian courts' judgments arguing that they violated Isayeva's right to a fair trial by an independent and unbiased court, the right to freedom of thought, including the freedom to share one's convictions and express own opinion, as well as the freedom of association.
Pursuant to its standard procedure, the European Court put a number of questions to the Russian government.
"Judging by the questions the court is nonplussed as to what the applicant was convicted for and what is the object of the statute," Agranovsky added.
He observed that although the appeal was not given a priority, it was registered fairly quickly - last year.