A criminal case was opened in the Bryansk region on May 11 over the desecration of the St. George Ribbon, the regional Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee reported.
As Bryansk News wrote, prosecutors found that on March 7, 2023 in the village of Netinka (a suburb of Bryansk, 1705 residents) a 33-year-old local resident in a public place tore the St. George Ribbon from a fellow villager and trampled it in the mud. The prosecutor’s office sent the materials to the Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee, which opened a criminal case under Part 3 of Article 354.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. This article provides punishment for public desecration of a symbol of Russian military glory.
Operational support of the investigation is carried out by officers of the Federal Security Service. The investigator asked to send the accused to pre-trial detention, the court came to the opinion that house arrest would be sufficient.
As noted by the Sova Center, the status of a symbol of Russian military glory has been assigned to the St. George Ribbon since December 2022. According to Sova experts, criminal prosecution is justified only in the case of committing crimes that pose a significant danger to society. In this case, it would have been sufficient to bring the offender to administrative responsibility for disorderly conduct (part 1 article 20.1 of the Administrative Code).
The Center reminded that in General Comment No. 34 to Article 19 (freedom of opinion and expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee expressed its concern about Russian laws on such actions as, in particular, disrespect for the flag and symbols.