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Laws on rallies, NGO, libel need correction-human rights official

July 16, 2012, 16:42 UTC+3
Fedotov confirmed the Council’s negative assessment of a number of provisions of the above documents
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MOSCOW, July 16 (Itar-Tass) — The Human Rights Council (HRC) under the Russian President will seek correction of the recent controversial laws that have caused mixed reactions in the society, head of the Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov said at a press conference on Monday, explaining that he referred to the laws toughening penalties for violations at the meetings, on non-profit organisations – “foreign agents,” on libel and the responsibility of Internet providers in connection with protection of the rights of children.

He recalled that they were passed (by the State Duma), despite the objections of HRC members. “If you think that we will stop at this point, then you are mistaken,” Fedotov said. “We will continue our work. Because there is the power of public opinion, the power of laws and the power of logic.”

After all, Fedotov added, “there is also the world public opinion, there is the European Court of Human Rights and so on.”

Fedotov confirmed the Council’s negative assessment of a number of provisions of the above documents. “We believe that those laws which have not yet been finally passed, not adopted by the Federation Council and not signed by the president must be suspended and put forward for public discussion,” he said.

“These laws have very big problems, including their public perception, their place in the legal system, since they simply contradict the Constitution,” said Fedotov.

According to him, the HRC has influence possibilities. “We will send a corresponding letter to the Federation Council,” he said. Fedotov also said that he had already twice met with the RF president and had several telephone conversations with him. “I have passed to him my amendments and they were partly used in the presidential remarks to the bills,” he indicated.

Fedotov is convinced that it is possible to correct the already adopted laws. According to him, when he had a telephone conversation with the president about the law on rallies, the president said that “if there are problems, nothing prevents us from to fixing them.”

“And we will continue to do this, we will prepare for the president proposals for reforming these laws and their correction,” the HRC head promised.

“I prefer a slow movement in the right direction rather than a quick movement in the opposite direction,” he concluded.

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