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Tough Anti-protest Law is Approved by Russian Parliament
6.06.2012 11:38
Tough Anti-protest Law is Approved by Russian Parliament

After 11 hours of a marathon session, the Russian lower house has supported toughening the punishment for illegal gatherings and protests in the second and final third readings.

      Before the beginning of the parliament's session, members of the opposition leftist faction "The Fair Russia" said they would do everything possible to postpone the voting over the scandalous bill. The party suggested a move that they called “Italian Strike” – Fair Russia deputies submitted over 400 amendments to the bill and insisted the Lower House voted separately for each. KPRF communist party also supported that initiative.

      So it took over 11 hours of debates for members of the parliament. However the majority "United Russia" faction didn't yield and replied by passing a regulation that allowed voting for a block of amendments at once and summarily rejected all the amendments that included some curious and senseless suggestions.

      Then the controversial bill was passed in the third, and final, reading with 241 votes for and 147 against. It introduces fines for illegal street protest of 300,000 rubles (roughly $9,000) for ordinary protesters, 600,000 rubles ($18,000) for organizers of the protest actions and 1 million rubles ($30 474) for officials and legal entities.

      The punishment also includes community service of up to 200 hours and adds some other changes aimed to make the life of illegal protesters more difficult. Now demonstrators are not allowed to wear masks or carry any weapons or objects that could be used as weapons.

      The draft law was initiated by the United Russia faction and immediately raised a wave of indignation among parliamentary opposition, street protesters, rights activists and common people who considered the law as the freedoms violence. Non-parliamentary opposition has staged a series of rallies in protest the new legislation.

      Now the bill should be approved by the Russia's Federation Council and then signed by the president. If there are no any obstacles, it will come into force before June 12, the day when the opposition plans to hold another "March of Millions" mass protest action. 


Sources: RIA Novosti RT Image:

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian politics Russian law opposition protest actions  

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