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Russian human rights council asks Putin to reject controversial anti-terror bills

June 30, 2016, 19:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Many provisions of the bills’ initial wording caused heated discussions both in society and among parliamentarians

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. The Russian presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights has requested the head of state to reject a controversial package of anti-terror bills approved by the upper house on Wednesday.

"After discussing the laws adopted by the State Duma [the lower house of Russia’s parliament] and approved by the Federation Council [the upper house] and known as the anti-terror package of Irina Yarovaya and Viktor Ozerov, the Council is urging to … turn them down owing to their unconstitutionality, the inconsistency and the legal uncertainty of some of their provisions," according to the Council’s appeal to President Vladimir Putin posted on the Council’s website on Thursday.

The Federation Council approved on Wednesday a package of anti-terror bills prepared by MP Yarovaya and Senator Viktor Ozerov.

The first law of the anti-terror package was supported by 151 senators with four abstentions. The second document got the approval of 141 parliamentarians, with five votes against it and nine abstentions.

Many provisions of the bills’ initial wording caused heated discussions both in society and among parliamentarians.

The final version of the anti-terror package excludes the provision on terminating the citizenship of dual citizens who have committed terrorist crimes and the provision on the ban on the departure of extremists from Russia.

At the same time, the document has kept the provision on the requirement for communications operators to keep information on their subscribers’ connections for three years and the content transmitted, including videos, for up to six months.

The new anti-terror legislation bans missionary activity that violates public security and order, extremist actions, coercion into ruining families, and encroachments on the freedom of the person and the rights and freedoms of citizens. A ban is imposed on missionary activities aimed at inducing suicide, at creating obstructions to getting compulsory education and at persuasion of individuals to refuse to perform their legally binding civic duties.

The document envisages expanding the Criminal Code’s list of crimes against peace and security of mankind to incorporate "international terrorism" and life imprisonment established as the maximum punishment.

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