Today, law No. 144-3 of January 4 has been published on the National Legal Internet Portal. They introduce criminal liability for the illegal organizing of the activities of unregistered organizations and administrative liability for collecting funds to reimburse the costs caused by the prosecution for violation of the procedure for organizing and conducting mass enterprises. The law will enter into force ten days after its publication. According to it, Article 193-1 «Illegal organization of the activities of a public association, religious organization or foundation or participation in their activities» is added to the Criminal Code.
In accordance with this article, an organization or participation in the activities of a political party, other public association, religious organization, or foundation in respect of which there is a decision of the authorized state body on their liquidation or suspension of their activities that has entered into force will be punishable by a fine, arrest or imprisonment for up to two years. Such punishment is also provided for the organization of activities or participation in the activities of a political party, other public association, religious organization, or foundation that has not been provided with State registration in accordance with the established procedure. Article 193-1 is used in the absence of signs of an offense under Article 423-1 («Failure to comply with a decision to recognize an organization or the activities of an individual entrepreneur as extremist, to terminate the activities of a representative office of a foreign or international organization and (or) to suspend their activities»).
Participation in activities is understood as actions aimed at achieving the goals of these associations, including those defined in their statutory or other documents. The article does not apply to the organization and participation in activities if they aim to eliminate violations that served as the basis for the decision of the state body to suspend activities. In addition, the article does not apply to cases where the organization of activities and participation in it are related to the state registration of a party, public association, religious organization, or foundation.
Individuals who have voluntarily stopped the actions provided for in Article 193-1 and have declared about this to the State bodies will be exempt from criminal liability if their actions do not contain the elements of another crime. At the same time, exemption from criminal liability is not provided for if persons have committed similar acts within two years after the voluntary termination of actions.
Article 24.57 «Illegal organization of the activities of a public association, religious organization or foundation or participation in their activities» is excluded from the Code of Administrative Offenses.
Article 24.23 of the Code of Administrative Offenses is supplemented by Part 7 of the Law. It provides for administrative liability for «the collection, receipt, using of funds, other property, including property rights, as well as exclusive rights to the results of intellectual activity, as well as the performance of work, the provision of services for reimbursement of expenses caused by bringing a person to justice for violation of the procedure for organizing or holding mass events.» The penalty for this part is a fine from 5 to 30 base rates (now 160-960 rubles) with the confiscation of the subject of an administrative offense for individuals. The fine for legal entities will be up to 100% of the amount (value) of the subject of an administrative offense with its confiscation or without confiscation.
The note to the new part states that «the performance of work, the provision of services by a person for reimbursement of his own expenses due to bringing him to justice for violation of the procedure for organizing or holding mass events is not an administrative offense provided for in part 7 of this article.»