Independent Gazette (Nezavisimaya Gazeta) reported that Russian State Duma (parliament) has drafted a bill that will make a tougher law on fight against extremism. The bill will abrogate the regulations, in accordance to which two warnings received by social organizations, mass media or ordinary citizens are annulled in one year. If the draft proposed by Kursk Provincial Congress is passed, the non-governmental organizations or mass media will be shut down right after the second reprimand, regardless of when the first warning was made.The draft was adopted in the summer 2002, radically reworked in 2006, and then corrected almost a year later, right after the parliamentary election campaign had started.
According to this law, a person or an organization that was reprimanded for extremism will not be allowed to participate in the elections. Any political party can be removed from political battle once some of its leaders and even rank and file activists are labeled as extremists. The bill will also provide for the opportunity to shut down the mass media that were accused of endorsing extremism or spreading “incorrect” materials.
Nevertheless, according to the version of the draft that was passed today, Office of Prosecutor’s General and Ministry of Justice can demand shutting down or banning any social organization only if the violating entity resumes its subversive activities within a 12 month period after the reprimand was issued. Members of Kursk Provincial Duma (parliament) believe that the law should contain no liberal limitations whatsoever. They proposed to add that the issue of shutting down the violators could be raised at any time: whether the next day, or a couple of years after the warning was issued.
Department of Monitoring