The Plenum of the Supreme Court of Russia clarified when insulting or using violence against a representative of the authorities is a criminal offense. This is stated in the resolution adopted today by the plenum of the Armed Forces, which spells out the nuances of the application of articles 317, 318, 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
In particular, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes, insulting officials and law enforcement officers online is also covered by the Criminal Code. As the plenum of the Russian Armed Forces explained, insulting a representative of the authorities can be expressed in a public statement addressed to the victim of swearing. For example, it would be a crime to say something unpleasant on the street to a police officer who stopped a citizen to check documents.
The ruling emphasizes that “an obligatory condition for criminal liability” for insulting a representative of the authorities in the performance of his official duties or in connection with their performance is the public nature of such actions. At the same time, an insulting statement or “another expression of insult” in the presence of the victim or other people, including in public places, during mass events will already be considered a public action.
In addition, tearing off a uniform headdress or epaulettes of a law enforcement officer will be considered an insult.
According to the explanations of the Supreme Court, an insult can also be committed by publicly uttering swear words against the victim or posting “humiliating” information on the Internet.
They will also punish swearing on websites, forums or blogs that are open to a wide range of people. The article also covers the mass mailing of e-mails swearing at the security forces.
At the same time, the newspaper emphasizes, simply criticizing officials “does not mean humiliating.”
“Although a different opinion may offend an official, it will not be offensive from a legal point of view,” the article says. – Let’s say that it would not be a violation to write that it would not be a violation to reach a certain head of clerk. But if you add a couple of strong expressions and spice up the text with obscenities, then there may already be a reason for a criminal case.
The Supreme Court recalled that articles 317 (encroachment on the life of a law enforcement officer) and 318 (use of violence against a representative of the authorities) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provide for liability for encroachments on relatives of security officials as well.
The Plenum explained that such persons should be understood as close relatives and other persons who are related to representatives of the authorities. This circle also includes persons whose life, health and well-being are dear to them by virtue of “established personal relationships”.
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