June 24, 2016
As you know, the so-called Yarovaya package, a series of flagrantly repressive amendments to the Russian Federal Criminal Code, whose official aim is combating terrorism, was passed today by the State Duma in its third and final reading.
You can read here why this is bad:
- Alec Luhn, “Russia passes ‘Big Brother’ anti-terror laws,” The Guardian, June 26, 2016
- “Controversial Anti-Terrorism Laws Approved by Russian Duma,” The Moscow Times, June 24, 2016
- “Russia’s State Duma just approved some of the most repressive laws in post-Soviet history,” Meduza, June 24, 2016
- “Irina Yarovaya’s ‘anti-terrorist’ war on civil rights,” Meduza, June 23, 2016
Aleksandra Ermilova and I summarized the worst things about these amendments and went to Nevsky Prospect to hand out leaflets. Or rather, I handed out the leaflets, while Sasha stood holding a remarkable autobiographical placard [pictured, above].
This is what we wrote in the leaflets:
IF YOU DON’T INFORM YOU’LL GO TO JAIL
An article on non-informing has been added to the Criminal Code. “Failure to report a crime” will entail a sentence of up to one year in prison. This law applies to such crimes as terrorism, seizure of power, and attempts on the life of a public official.
ALL YOUR COMMUNICATIONS WILL BE SAVED AND READ
Monitoring of correspondence has been toughened. Records of all your telephone calls, SMS messages, and emails will be saved for six months, and the security forces will be provided with the means to decode encrypted communications.
YOUR PACKAGES WILL BE VETTED
Postal workers will now be obliged to search vigorously for prohibited items in our packages: money, narcotics, weapons, explosives, and “other devices that pose a threat to human life and health.”
YOU INVITED A FRIEND TO A PROTEST RALLY, YOU GO TO JAIL
The Criminal Code will now include an article on “inducing, recruiting or otherwise involving” someone in organizing a “riot.” The law stipulates a penalty of 300,000 to 700,000 rubles or a prison sentence of five to ten years.
YOU REPOST THE “WRONG” THING, YOU GO TO JAIL
The punishments for “extremist” entries, reposts, and comments on the web have been toughened. Despite the fact that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution, you can now be fined from 300,000 to 500,000 rubles or sent to prison for two to five years for making certain statements. By the way, 369 people were convicted of “enciting hatred by means of the Internet” in 2015.
YOU’RE STILL A KID? YOU’RE GOING TO JAIL ANYWAY
14-year-olds will now be tried as adults not only for serious crimes but also for involvement in riots and non-informing.
Translated by the Russian Reader