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Friday, March 16, 2018

Overseas to enforce the law: anti-terrorism amendments adopted by the state Duma, horrified by the opposition

The state Duma adopted in the first reading (only votes “United Russia and just Russia, Communists and LDPR refused to vote) the so-called “anti-terrorism package” of the two bills. The authors-United Russia believe that the proposed measures “will have a real effect in the fight against terrorism”. Along the way expands the Arsenal of tools that the authorities can, if desired, to use not against terrorists, but against the opposition.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The package, which “MK” wrote repeatedly, was prepared by the interdepartmental Commission with participation of law enforcement bodies and special services, and received the approval of the Security Council.

The original authors were listed Irina Yarovaya (“United Russia”) and Victor Ozerov, the head of “law enforcement” committees of the state Duma and the Federation Council, recently joined the United Russia party, Alexei Pushkov and Nadezhda Gerasimova.

About the bills, which enjoyed the special patronage of the Kremlin and the government, even if they are formally made on behalf of the deputies, on Okhotny Ryad say, “They are green street”.

If you use a road analogy, these two fly “with flashing lights and motorcycle escort. Both the decision of the speaker fell into the hands of the Committee on security and anti-corruption Ms. Spring, although in one of them we are talking about modification in criminal and Criminal procedure code, and for this topic in the state Duma the responsibility of the Committee on legislation (and there is now pending a number of initiatives to toughen penalties for terrorist crimes).

Reviews of the Supreme court and the government on the draft MPs and journalists were able to see only on the day of voting. The government and the armed forces supported the concept, expressing many good comments. These observations can be accounted for the second reading – and may not be taken into account.

And the Supreme court, and the government drew attention: some of the proposals violate the principle of proportionality of criminal penalties and does not correspond to the public danger of crimes.

“At least in need of further justification” both the government and the judges considered a proposal to Supplement the criminal code a new article punishes “failure to report a crime of a terrorist orientation (up to 3 years of imprisonment, close relatives and spouses from the obligation to convey are exempt). Similar provisions operated in the USSR and the Russian Federation until 1997, but then were cancelled.

And Ms. Spring and Mr. Valeev in the meeting room talked about the growing threat of terrorism and necessity of fight against him. But the bill on amendments to the criminal code and the criminal procedure code a lot – not about terrorism but about the crimes of an extremist nature in General.

For example, in four articles of the criminal code removed alternative types of punishment like fines, detention, forced or compulsory labor, and there is only imprisonment.

The Supreme court drew particular attention to one of them, 282 (“inciting hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity”): according to the official judicial statistics, in 2014, it sentenced 267 persons, of them to real imprisonment sentenced to 4.9%, the relative — 9%. And if the bill Ms. Spring has become a law, all 100% would be sitting.

Of the armed forces and the government believe that the rejection of alternative sanctions will enable judges to sentence “taking into account the specific circumstances of Commission of crime”.

“God forbid anyone say that MPs are so and so made a bad law – it’s inciting hatred towards a social group, and article 282 is five years in the colony!” – figuratively explained to colleagues that this 282-I, the Deputy Sergei Ivanov (liberal democratic party)…

Dmitry Gudkov (“CP”) reminded: the authors want to further Supplement the criminal code a new composition – “Promotion of extremist activities, and asked: “What is it?”

There is no response in the explanatory Memorandum, nor in the conclusion of the Committee, did not hear it today in the gym.

In the bill it is only possible to read that no alternative to imprisonment for a term of 5 to 8 years will face for the declination, recruitment or other involving of the person in the Commission of at least one” of the 4 crimes, 3 of which usually lie in the words, articles, books or posts-reposts.

The second bill of the package of changes in existing laws 10-a detailed discussion is not rewarded. In the opinion of the government he has only one remark: it is necessary to clarify the amount of information on the communications of citizens, which the operators will be required to keep for 3 years and provide on request of law enforcement officials

Alexander Potapov (CPRF) said: the part of the experts “have concerns” that the proposed package of measures may lead to “violate the rights of citizens not involved in terrorism”, and the presidential Council for civil society development and human rights sent a negative conclusion.

But Ms. Spring said: all limitations of the rights will be applied primarily against the perpetrators of the crime”.

Referring to the ban on travel outside Russia for the Russians, who “declared an official warning about the inadmissibility of actions creating conditions for Commission of terrorist offences (for 5 years), and for those who have not taken off or outstanding conviction for terrorism-related heinous crimes under four articles of the criminal code and for any “crimes of an extremist nature” (without specifying which), Ms. Spring said: such a ban, and it is now possible for 8 grounds, the new will be introduced “non-mandatory basis”.

That is optional: in any case – and will release with a conviction for extremist offences, and in some – not? But no references to regulations, rules, guiding the decision maker on the prohibition officials, the bill does not contain.

“For” in the first reading voted only a fraction of the “EP” and “CP”.

From the file “MK”: who would have gone abroad under the new law

Experts estimate the number of persons sentenced for “extremist” articles in the last five years has reached 483 people. Real terms have received only 54 people.

“MK” remembered the case, which the defendants managed to get off with fines, and thus found that at times extremism is in practice, and that in the new reality you can go to jail.

By “extremist” articles are increasingly, ordinary citizens, and according to the information-analytical center “Owl”, up to 90% of sentences at him lately submitted on the basis of Internet evidence, half of them on the basis of social networks .

Often citizens are judged not even for the fact that they invented themselves, and for a kind of thoughtcrime ( the term from the novel “1984” by George Orwell): repost of someone else’s text, images or songs. But famous cases like this in the main regions.

For example, in September 2014, a resident Perm Eugene Vyzhigina was fined for her to live with “seaside guerrillas” noted one of the “friends” Vkontakte. In the Center “e” she was accused that she was not rejected, but confirmed by mark himself in this video.

In 2015, Elizabeth Krasikova Ivanovo regional court has fined on 100 thousand rubles for the repost Ukrainians appeal to the peoples of Russia” from the community “Anarcho-news”. The expert in this case came to the conclusion that sharing them on the page, Krasikova “publicly called for the overthrow of the constitutional order”. The girl was later pardoned.

In the beginning of this year brought criminal case against the inhabitant of Yekaterinburg Catherine Volozaninova article on inciting hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity (part 1 of article 282 of the criminal code) because she signed up to the social network to the public one Ukrainian organization and a group of “Russian” banned in Russia “Right sector”. She has also posted on his page links to a film about the Maidan and a talk show on Ukrainian television. The woman claimed she did not know that it is forbidden in Russia “Right sector” were recognized as an extremist organization, in addition, the public has not been blocked. Ultimately, the court sentenced her to a fine and destroyed her laptop.

It is symbolic that last sentence for xenophobic repost in the social network was made on the eve of consideration by the state Duma amendments to the legislation. The mechanic-repairman of Tolyatti Anatoly Legasov sentenced to 10 month of hard labor, in addition, 10% of his salary during that time will be transferred to the state.

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