Manannikov v. Russia: The Final Nail in the Coffin of Political Dissent?

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24 February marked a turning point in modern history: Russia barbarously attacked Ukraine. Apart from other drastic implications, including the expulsion of Russia from the Council of Europe, the war set off a new wave of political repression within a country. Russian political activists and opposition figures have been persecuted for taking to the streets and openly criticising the regime already for decades. However, the growing unrest regarding Russia’s actions in Ukraine has led the Government to almost fully wipe out opportunities for peaceful assembly.
The case of Manannikov v. Russia deals with a complex problem of political dissent and its reasonable boundaries in a democratic society. Rendered by the European Court of Human Rights on 1 February 2022, a few weeks before the beginning of the war, the judgment exposes the Court’s struggle to balance the right to counter-demonstration with the legitimate goal of protecting public order. But has the Court set the priorities straight? And is the outcome of the case reasonable in light of the social and political realities in Russia? This post discusses the judgment in Manannikov, indicates where the Court’s reasoning has fallen short, and reflects on its broader implications.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGent / Hasselt
PublisherStrasbourg Observers
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022

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