16 January 2012
Experts have established that government officials and deputies of legislative assemblies do not constitute a social group. The Chelyabinsk region Investigative Committee has halted the prosecution of the blogger Andrei Ermolenko for lack of evidence. Andrei Ermolenko had been charged with “inciting hatred, as well as degrading the human dignity of a group of people on the basis of their belonging to a particular social group” (Article 282, Section 1, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).
This decision by senior investigator Rustam Gilmanshin of 16 January 2012 was handed by Andrei Ermolenko to the Agora Human Rights Association, which had acted as his legal counsel. The main reasons for halting the prosecution, a correspondent for Open Information Agency reports, were the failure by experts to find any evidence of extremism in Andrei Ermolenko’s blogs, and the fact that the experts found that officials of the Prosecutor’s Office, the courts, the police, or civil servants and deputies of the State Duma, could not be considered to constitute a distinct social group. [Read more]