Of course, it is often very easy to make claims against a ban on the basis of the Law on Countering Extremist Activities, even when it comes to a more dangerous group, since the very definition of extremism in this law is written very poorly. I am inclined to think that this framework law itself is not needed, since Europe can do without it. But we must understand that almost all (there are exceptions, but in the case of MG they are irrelevant) elements of anti-extremist legislation in European countries also exist, since there are the same public interests that need to be protected: namely, state and public security and protection from aggressive forms discriminatory behavior. In European countries, there is a ban on a certain kind of propaganda everywhere (varies by country). Almost everywhere there is an understanding of the motive of hatred towards this or that category of people as an aggravating circumstance for ordinary crimes – this is what is called a “hate crime”, and not just any words. There is also such an element as the possibility of banning an organization (whether registered or not) for anti-constitutional activities, although the mechanisms and consequences of the ban may be different. The difference between democracies in Europe may be what activities against constitutional values are deemed dangerous enough to entail a ban on an organization or a community, and what the consequences of the ban will be. I think that, in essence, the subject of our disputes should be the same.
From the point of view of the current Russian law, the basis for the ban is a very literal reading of the poorly written definition of extremism. Of course, this – if so desired – makes it possible for an overly widespread use. But poor implementation both at the level of the legislator and at the level of law enforcement does not mean that the rule that allows prohibiting an organization by itself is contrary to the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights or some other generally accepted legal framework.
The list of extremist organizations now includes almost 90 items; there are a number of those there that would be “necessary in a democratic society” to prohibit (using the famous wording of the Convention). These are not only real gangs such as terrorist organizations or some Tesakov’s “Format-18”. This, for example, “Northern Brotherhood”: those people did not commit violence themselves, but deliberately, systematically and successfully provoked others to it. In democratic countries, it is usually believed that the activities of such groups should be suppressed, although this is usually done when there is no other way.