A meeting of the Joint Collegium of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the Joint Collegium) was held in Brest under the chairmanship of Prosecutors General of Belarus and Russia Andrei Shved and Igor Krasnov. The meeting considered the practice of prosecutorial supervision in the field of countering extremist activity.
The event was also attended by members of the Joint Collegium and heads of structural divisions of the supervisory bodies of both States.
In his welcoming speech, Andrei Shved emphasized that the Joint Collegium of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation is “an important tool of the state policy in the field of ensuring law and order, the rights and freedoms of citizens, and the fight against crime.”
Speaking about the importance of interstate cooperation, the constant exchange of experience in the field of countering extremism, and improving law enforcement practice, the head of the Belarusian supervisory agency noted that in 2020 there was an attempt by a number of Western countries to carry out a coup d'etat, to change power in the country by force using extremist elements according to “color revolutions” technology.
“Violent actions were decisively suppressed... As a result of the coordinated measures taken by the state bodies, a stable and controlled situation was ensured in the country. At the same time, there is a tendency to shift protest activity to the Internet... Peaceful rhetoric has been cast aside – there is an open talk about implementation of terrorist acts and the need for a foreign military intervention in order to forcibly shift power...”, Andrei Shved stated.
Addressing the participants of the meeting in his opening speech, Igor Krasnov emphasized the relevance of the topic brought up for discussion: “It is obvious that external forces both in Russia and in Belarus are actively trying to influence the independent policy of our countries, undermine the situation by all means, give rise to international and religious conflicts.”
The Prosecutor General of Russia emphasized that the younger generation is actively involved in this destructive activity, the Internet and modern means of communication are used.
The participants discussed the results of work to stabilize the socio-political situation and coordinate the activities of law enforcement bloc, issues of cooperation between the Prosecutor General’s Offices in countering extremism, terrorism and preventing the rehabilitation of Nazism.
Reports were made by Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Khmaruk and Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Nikolai Vinnichenko.
Sergei Khmaruk spoke in detail about the organizational, supervisory and practical measures taken to prevent and counteract destructive activity.
For reference. In order to stabilize the socio-political situation and coordinate the activities of the law enforcement bloc in 2020-2021, meetings of the Republican Coordination Meeting on Combating Crime and Corruption were held under the chairmanship of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus. Based on the results of the meetings, substantive decisions were made to improve the efficiency of the work of the competent state bodies in the fight against extremist activities.
As a result of the work done, destructive activity of citizens holding extremist views significantly decreased.
In the first half of 2022, the number of extremist crimes committed decreased by 3 times compared to the second half of 2020. At the same time, the detection of crimes of this category has increased.
“It is impossible not to mention the importance of rule-making activities in this area. Legislative innovations, initiated, among others, by prosecutors, are actively used by law enforcement agencies to build up a long-term preventive effect in countering extremism... As a result of coordinated work, one of the principles of countering extremism is being implemented – the inevitability of punishment for extremist activity,” said the Deputy Prosecutor General of Belarus.
He spoke about the work done to prevent the spread of information products of extremist content and to identify active participants in destructive Internet resources, dwelled on measures to prevent extremist activity.
“Work is underway to identify and eliminate organizations of a destructive character, including those financing extremist activities under the guise of “politically neutral” European programs and projects, destructive activities of trade unions that are not part of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus,” said Sergei Khmaruk.
The Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus also focused on prevention of the involvement of minors in extremist activities and imposition of the ideas on rehabilitation of Nazism on teenagers. He spoke about the importance of instilling patriotism, respect for the Motherland, the State and the historical heritage of the Belarusian people in young people.
For reference. The Prosecutor General’s Office has developed and implemented an algorithm for the actions of state bodies aimed at minimizing the participation of adolescents and parents with young children in illegal mass events.
In order to organize a systematic work in the field of patriotic education of young people, the Prosecutor General’s Office, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, developed and introduced standard programs into the educational process, including those based on the materials of the criminal case on genocide of the population of Belarus during the Great Patriotic War and the post-war period.
“As a result of the measures taken, there is a steady downward trend in the number of committed crimes of an extremist nature, as well as a shift in extremist activity to the Internet... The results achieved would not have been possible without productive cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation,” Sergei Khmaruk emphasized.
The participants of the event discussed issues of supervisory activities in the field of searching for persons who have fled from bodies conducting criminal process, as well as other areas of interaction, including unification of legislation in this area.
Based on the results of the meeting of the Joint Collegium, a draft decision was adopted, aimed at further strengthening and improving interaction between the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation in countering extremism, and the Plan of Joint Activities of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus and the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation for 2023 was signed.
Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Shved thanked Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Igor Krasnov for the constructive cooperation and significant contribution to the common cause of fighting crime for the benefit of protecting the constitutional order of both States, the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens.
As part of the event, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Andrei Shved answered questions of the media, including on countering extremism and terrorism, the progress of investigation of the criminal case on genocide.
Photo: Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation
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