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Russia's State Duma passes anti-terrorism package

May 13, 17:43 UTC+3
Russia’s lower parliament house passes in first reading an anti-terrorism package of bills
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Russia's State Duma

Russia's State Duma

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Filippov

MOSCOW, May 13. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house on Friday passed in first reading an anti-terrorism package of bills that provide for life imprisonment for involvement in international terrorism, toughen aiding ab abating terrorists and make it possible to strip bipatride terrorists off Russian citizenship.

The package was initiated a month ago by Irina Yarovaya, the chairwoman of the State Duma security and anti-corruption committee, and her counterpart from the Federation Council upper parliament house, Viktor Ozerov.

The lawmakers suggest, in particular, that "international terrorism" be listed as a legally defined crime against peace and humanity. "Carrying out an explosion, arson outside the territory of the Russian Federation or other actions endangering life, health, freedom or immunity of Russian citizens with a view to violating peaceful coexistence of nations and peoples or directed against Russia’s interests as well as a threat of committing them are punishable by imprisonment for a term from 15 to 20 years with the restriction of freedom for up to 2 years or life imprisonment," the document says. Financing of such actions is to be punished by a prison terms from ten to 15 years with the possibility of large fines.

Public calls for terrorist activity or public justification of terrorism in the internet will entail a fine of up to one million rubles ($15,400) or a prison term of up to seven years. Aiding and abetting terrorists will be punished by a prison term from 15 to 20 years. Persons who don’t inform the authorities about preparing or committing such crimes as terrorist attacks, armed rebellions or hostage taking may face forced labor or a prison term of up to three years.

The package lowers the responsibility age for terrorism-related crimes to 14. Another novelty is that a crime committed in conditions of an armed conflict can be interpreted as an aggravating circumstance. The package envisages a punishment of a prison term of up to 15 years for recruiting for extremist activities. Holders of two or more national passports convicted for terrorism activities may be stripped of Russian citizenship.

The anti-terrorism package obliges mobile operators to keep records of conversations, SMS messages and images for a period of three years and provide them at a request from security services. Sources in the Russian telecom sector told TASS this provision would require huge investments and several years. The Russian government agreed that the volume of data was excessive but backed the very principle of data storage. The cabinet and the Supreme Court worded a number of other remarks to the bills but generally supported them.

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