July 23, 2016
It doesn’t matter whether you come to the people’s assembly against the so-called Yarovaya package at 7 p.m. on July 26 in front of the arch of the General Staff Building on Bolshaya Morskaya or not. There is already enough evidence to put you away.
On July 7, 2016, President Putin signed the so-called Yarovaya package, a series of flagrantly repressive amendments to the Russian Federal Criminal Code. The official objective of the amendments is to combat terrorism.
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.
At 7 p.m. on July 26, a people’s assembly on behalf of liberty and against the Yarovaya package will be held on Bolshaya Morskaya in the pedestrian area near the arch of the General Staff Building. The people’s assembly format does not permit the use of political symbols and placards. But no one can forbid us from going outside, talking about the Yarovaya package, and hoping the voice of peaceful protest will be heard.
More on the Yarovaya Package:
- 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