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MOSCOW, June 5 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Presidential Council on development of civil society and human rights will address the Federation Council if the State Duma adopts the bill on tougher responsibility for violations during rallies in the form it is drafted for the second reading, the Council’s chairman Mikhail Fedotov said on Tuesday commenting on refusal of deputies to cancel discussion of the document.
“We continue to watch closely how the bill is passing the State Duma. If it is adopted without our comments, we shall address the Federation Council,” he said. “The address itself will depend on the form the State Duma will offer. As soon as the Duma’s decision is in place, we shall prepare our address.”
Fedotov expressed special concern about the fact that the bill had not received comments from the government, which, he is sure, is a must in this case.
On Tuesday, The State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament refused to take off its agenda the bill envisioning high fines for violations at rallies. A majority of lawmakers voted to go ahead with the discussion of the new legislation. Just 209 of 450 lawmakers were opposed.
Earlier, the Council said the draft law that imposes harsher penalties for violations during mass rallies runs counter to the Russian Constitution and international obligations assumed by the country. “We studied the draft law prepared for the second reading and send a letter with our comments to State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, in which we reiterated our position stated earlier: the adoption of the draft law should be postponed, return it to the first reading and submit it to public discussion as required by presidential Decree No. 601 of May 7, 2012,” Mikhail Fedotov said.