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Crime or no crime? Moscow-based Armenian lawyer demands probe into a book inciting ‘interethnic hatred’

Moscow-based ARMROSS Russian-Armenian lawyer’s association has undertaken to probe a book by Russian historian Oleg Kuznetsov.

The book titled “The history of Armenia trans-national terrorism in the 20th century: Historical-criminological research” incites hatred and humiliates national dignity, the association says.

Therefore, the dissemination of the book could be seen as a crime under Article 282.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Actions aimed at the incitement of hatred or enmity, as well as abasement of dignity of a person or a group of persons on the basis of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, attitude to religion, as well as affiliation to any social group, if these acts have been committed in public or with the use of mass media).

President of ARMROSS Association Ruben Kirakosyan has demanded an expert review of the book. “A psycholinguistic expertise  is expected to determine whether the book incites interethnic and racial hatred and falls under Article 281.1 of the Criminal Code,” Kirakosyan told Public Radio of Armenia.

An initial demand for a probe back in 2015 failed to establish its extremist nature. The new expert opinion is expected by the end of this month. Should the conclusion be negative, the association is determind to take the case to the court.

The efforts to prevent the dissemination of the book, which is available in Russian libraries and the author’s website, are urgent considering that it has been translated and presented in Germany and has been awarded a prize in France.

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