Number of extremism cases has been steadily growing - prosecutors
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- Bill banning registration of extremist religious organizations sent to Duma
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- 40 extremist crimes registered in Moscow since start of 2012
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MOSCOW, July 30 (RAPSI) - The Prosecutor General's Office reports that the number of extremism cases is on the rise. The first half of 2013 saw a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2012.
The First Deputy of the Prosecutor General's Office Aleksandr Buksman say that the numbered of registered crimes connected with extremism grew by 11% in 2012, and by 20% in the first six months of 2013. He said that these numbers may represent more pro-active investigation efforts conducted by the authorities.
"Extremism is extremely volatile in nature, it can change colors overnight, pop up in different regions and social groups," Buksman said.
Previously introduced "anti-extremism legislation" in Russia has been criticized by human rights advocates, who claim it has often been used to clamp down on dissent rather than real threats to public order, and say the definition of extremist is subject to the interpretation of prosecutors and investigators.
Religious minority groups have also faced prosecution in Russia for activities considered "extremist," or for publishing "extremist publications."