Russia’s Putin signs tougher anti-extremism law

Russia’s Putin signs tougher anti-extremism law

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Tuesday, Feb 4, imposing tougher penalties for extremism-related crimes, according to RIA Novosti.

The move comes on the eve of this month's Winter Olympics in Sochi, where existing concerns over security were heightened following two suicide bombings that killed 34 people in the city of Volgograd in December.

Changes to the laws on extremism double the minimum prison term for inciting hatred to four years and triple the minimum fine to 300,000 rubles ($8,700). The law also increases penalties for membership in banned extremist groups.

The maximum prison term for setting up an extremist organization was doubled to six years, and the fine was raised to 500,000 rubles ($14,100).

The legislation, submitted to parliament last summer, has been roundly criticized by human rights activists who argue that the vagueness of the law opens the door for abuse against members of the political opposition.

Authorities insist the law is intended to combat religious extremist groups that threaten public safety.

Anti-extremism laws have in recent years been used to prosecute political and social activists in Russia, as well as followers of certain religions.

Related links:
 Top stories
In a statement, the court acknowledged that Hamas contests its inclusion on the list, maintained since it was created in 2001.
“We’ve never seen so many journalists held captive — for ransom or other reasons — by nonstate actors,” Robert Mahoney said.
The raids and arrests "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy," a statement said.
“We are going beyond the banalities taught to us for 200 years. We are finally asking the right questions,” the president said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.