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Tougher measures in terrorist fight should be accompanied with human rights guarantees

January 16, 2014, 20:44 updated at: January 16, 2014, 20:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Chairman of the Russian Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov believes that tougher measures in fight against terrorism should be accompanied with stronger guarantees of human rights.

“I have a principled position that tougher measures in the fight against terrorism should be accompanied with stronger guarantees of human rights,” he told Itar-Tass on Thursday. “We cannot encroach on human rights for the sake of fight against terrorism, because terrorists happen to defeat us then. As they do not recognise human rights,” Fedotov said with confidence.

The head of the Russian human rights presidential council also noted that the council will conduct an expertise of legislative initiatives in this sphere. “A large package of proposals was submitted, several committees will study them,” Fedotov said, refusing to give his assessment to a package of anti-terrorism bills, which were submitted in State Duma lower house of parliament on Wednesday, naming this step premature.

On January 15, a group of deputies from four State Duma factions has submitted in the lower house a package of bills, which vest the Federal Security Service (FSB) with broader powers in fight against terrorism and toughening punishment for terrorism-related activity, including in the Internet.

Now FSB officers are entitled to check identity cards of ordinary people and officials, if they have enough grounds to suspect them of committing a crime. This provision is planned to vest the security service with the right “to make checks of people and their belongings, if they have enough grounds to suspect them of committing a crime (an offence) and check their vehicles and their cargoes if they are suspected of using them in illegal ends.”

Meanwhile, it is proposed to belong a crime for propaganda, justification and support of terrorism as an aggravating circumstance. The statute of limitation is offered to be cancelled for offenders, who committed terrorism-related crimes as well as crimes against peace and human security.

A new corpus delicti for masterminding terrorism-related crimes and masterminding funding of terrorism is planned to punish by from 15 to 20 years in prison.

Tougher criminal responsibility is introduced for taking training for terrorism-related activity, forming a terrorist group and participation in it, forming an armed unit or participation in it. The maximum sentence under these criminal articles envisaged in amendments is life in prison.

The Russian Code of Administrative Offences is also planned to supplement with a new article of terrorism funding. According to this article, money allocation or fund-raising or financial services, if they are intended to fund an organisation, prepare or commit even one crime under Russia’s penal code articles related to terrorism, or for supplies of an organised group, illegal armed unit, criminal community (criminal organisation), created or being created to commit even one of above mentioned crimes, will be punished with a fine from one million ($29.9 thousand) to 60 million roubles ($1.8 million) for legal entities or administrative suspension of activity for a term of up to 90 days.

Another bill envisages that a new article for the duties of an organiser of distributing information and (or) exchange of information between Internet users will be added to the law on information, information technologies and information security.

According to this article, an individual or a legal entity should according to the procedure introduced by Russian government to notify a law enforcement agency on the launch of activity to organise distribution of information and (or) information exchange between Internet users.

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agency should keep information about actions of users for six months in distribution of information and (or) information exchange and provide it to law enforcement agencies that conduct searches or ensure security in Russia in the cases set in federal laws.

The package of bills also includes a draft law, which is aimed at restriction of anonymous money transfers with the use of Internet payment systems. This is the cases when persons making money transfers and receiving them are not identified.

Use of unnamed electronic payment system is permitted, if the money residue on an electronic account does not exceed 5,000 roubles ($50 dollars) (now 15,000 roubles($450 dollars) at any moment. Total sum of money transfers with the use of one unnamed electronic payment instrument cannot exceed 1,000 roubles daily (3,000 roubles on prepaid card) and 15,000 roubles monthly (now 40,000 roubles ($1.2 thousand).

The draft law rules out completely the use of unnamed electronic payment systems in trans-border money transfers, if electronic payments operator does not identify a client - an individual, or if full information lacks about persons making and receiving money transfers.

At the same time changes are made to rule out possible money transfers with the use of non-personified electronic payment systems between individuals, particularly in replenishment of prepaid cards by individuals. This provision “will not affect e-trade, when money transfers are usually effectuated between an individual and a legal entity,” the authors of the bill noted.

Transactions by non-profit organisations related with money transfers from foreign countries, foreign organisations or individuals, or related with money spending by them are subject to compulsory control if the sum of transaction exceeds 100,000 roubles ($3,000) (now 200,000 roubles ($6,000)). At the same time the bill stipulates that a transaction over electronic money transfer will be subject to compulsory control, if the sum of transaction is equal or exceeds 100,000 roubles.

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