(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Human rights activists in Russia are crying foul after President Vladimir Putin put in place a new treason law this week widening the definition of espionage and criminal anti-government actions.

 

According to the BBC: “Human rights campaigners believe the aim of the legislation is to scare Russians into cutting links with Western non-governmental organisations. That might include groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.”

 

Putin’s new law means Russians can be jailed for up to 20 years for any activity that judges interpret as undermining the nation’s constitutional order and integrity. The law also criminalizes providing help or advice to a foreign government or even a foreign non-government organization.

 

It’s just the latest in a series of bills passed by Putin since he returned to the presidency six months ago, including laws to:

- ban unauthorized protests

- allow the government to block “harmful” websites

- require non-government groups receiving foreign aid to register as a “foreign agent”

 

Al Jazeera reports Putin has assembled a human rights council of advisers, though whether it’s actually having any effect on the Russian president’s decision-making is questionable.

 

“Putin’s expanded his so-called human rights council. He told members at its inaugural meeting that he would review some of the laws he has passed since his re-election. The next day, he signed the treason legislation into law.”

 

During that same meeting, Putin expressed concern that Russia did have certain problems with limiting its citizens’ liberties, but his actions have told a different story. The Washington Post wrote this week:

 

“Silence free speech and steal elections, and corruption flourishes … Russia is a country desperate for modernization, political and economic. Mr. Putin’s actions seem to be moving in the other direction on both fronts."

Putin Expands Definition of Treason in Russia

by Zach Toombs
0
Transcript
Nov 14, 2012

Putin Expands Definition of Treason in Russia

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Human rights activists in Russia are crying foul after President Vladimir Putin put in place a new treason law this week widening the definition of espionage and criminal anti-government actions.

 

According to the BBC: “Human rights campaigners believe the aim of the legislation is to scare Russians into cutting links with Western non-governmental organisations. That might include groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.”

 

Putin’s new law means Russians can be jailed for up to 20 years for any activity that judges interpret as undermining the nation’s constitutional order and integrity. The law also criminalizes providing help or advice to a foreign government or even a foreign non-government organization.

 

It’s just the latest in a series of bills passed by Putin since he returned to the presidency six months ago, including laws to:

- ban unauthorized protests

- allow the government to block “harmful” websites

- require non-government groups receiving foreign aid to register as a “foreign agent”

 

Al Jazeera reports Putin has assembled a human rights council of advisers, though whether it’s actually having any effect on the Russian president’s decision-making is questionable.

 

“Putin’s expanded his so-called human rights council. He told members at its inaugural meeting that he would review some of the laws he has passed since his re-election. The next day, he signed the treason legislation into law.”

 

During that same meeting, Putin expressed concern that Russia did have certain problems with limiting its citizens’ liberties, but his actions have told a different story. The Washington Post wrote this week:

 

“Silence free speech and steal elections, and corruption flourishes … Russia is a country desperate for modernization, political and economic. Mr. Putin’s actions seem to be moving in the other direction on both fronts."

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