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Russian lawmakers to give more powers to police in self-defense

April 01, 2014, 11:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Lawmakers have drawn a package of amendments empowering police to shoot to kill even in public places, in case of threat to their life or to the life of people around them
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© ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian lawmakers have drawn a package of amendments empowering police to shoot to kill even in public places, in case of threat to their life or to the life of people around them.

"The package will be submitted for legislators' review later this month," co-chairman of the working group under the house Committee for Security and Combating Corruption Alexander Khinshtein told the newspaper Izvestia.

"Effective legislation does not allow a police officer to use weapons if the shooting can hurt people who happen to be nearby," Khinshtein said. "This norm fetters police, prohibiting the use of weapons even when it is necessary, for example, if a crowd is charging them."

"We plan to change this norm, giving police this right in case of necessity," he went on.

Under the effective law on police, law-enforcement officers, before using their service weapons, have to tell a violator that they are police officers, warn the violator about their intention to use firearms and give the offender the opportunity and time to comply with their legitimate demands. Police cannot shoot at women, disabled persons or adolescents except in the event of armed resistance.

If a check finds that the use of weapon by a police officer was not justified, he or she might face criminal charges.

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