They will lead to total control of the state and increased persecution for dissent, say the authors of the appeal
Russian human rights activists addressed the Council of Europe “in connection with new serious threats to Russian civil society and fundamental rights and freedoms” in the country. The pretext for the appeal was the adoption of “a whole package of new repressive laws” and the preparation of a number of others. This was reported by RBC, citing the text of the document.
“According to the petition, “if enacted, the laws and bills passed at the end of December will lead to a significant increase in state control over Russian society and the persecution of dissenters.
Specifically, the laws in question include amendments to the law on foreign agents that expand the range of people that can be recognized as such; amendments to the law on rallies that significantly impede the organization of rallies, demonstrations, marches, and pickets; and the introduction of criminal penalties for slander (up to five years in prison).
According to Russian human rights activists, such initiatives restrict the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and contradict Russia’s obligations under international law, and they call on the Council of Europe “to immediately respond to these new serious threats to human rights, the rule of law, and democracy in Russia.
The appeal was signed by Natalya Taubina, director of the Public Verdict Foundation, Yuri Dzhibladze, president of the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Oleg Orlov, a board member of the human rights center Memorial and board member of the international society Memorial, Svetlana Gannushkina, chairman of the Civic Assistance Svetlana Gannushkina, chairman of the Civic Assistance Committee, and Svetlana Astrakhantseva, executive director of the Moscow Helsinki Group.