Event: Anti-extremism legislation and its challenges for freedom of expression in Russia and across Europe

When: February 25, 2019, 6pm-7.30pm

Where: Committee Room 11, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

The Foreign Policy Centre, Article 19 and the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis are organising a joint seminar to examine Russia’s use of counter-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation, looking at how civil society and the Council of Europe are concerned that this broadly written and often arbitrarily applied legislation is being used to stifle freedom of expression and restrict access to information.

The seminar will also examine how the majority of convictions under this legislation are for posts on social networks and that the number of blocked websites is increasing, with independent media and civil society often been targeted, alongside genuine security threats.

The seminar will compare law enforcement practice in Russia with the experience of the adoption of anti-extremism legislation across Europe (including in particular the UK and Germany), exploring challenging issues such as hate speech and incitement online. It will place the discussion in the context of the relevant international human rights standards and discuss the need for reform both in Russia and internationally.


Alexander Verkhovsky, Director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis in Moscow

Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19

Lord Anderson, the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (subject to Parliamentary Business)

Chair: Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission

Register online