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Russian lawmakers submit bill on death penalty for terrorism

Kremlin officials have repeatedly voiced their nefative stance on the initiative of introducing death penalty

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) deputies representing A Just Russia party, Sergey Mironov and Mikhail Yemelyanov, have submitted to the government and the Supreme Court for comments a bill introducing death penalty as capital punishment for organizing, effectuating, aiding and abetting terrorist acts.

"By way of exercising my right to launching legislative motions, today I sent to the Supreme Court and the government a bill aimed at toughening punishments for terrorism," Mironov told TASS.

He added that the bill envisioned death penalty as capital punishment for the terrorist acts that entail purported infliction of death on two or more persons, as well as for organizing and aiding such acts.

"The problem of terrorism is looming large over the world of nowadays," Mironov said. "Terrorist ideology does not recognize basic human values, or cultural and spiritual foundations, or the supremacy of inalienable human rights, like the right to living."

"Terrorism has put itself into an opposition to the entire civilized world and the most recent unprecedented terrorist acts with numerous human victims like the explosion of the Russian A321 jet or the terrorist attacks in Paris prove this only too well," Mironov said.

"The masterminds and perpetrators of such crimes deserve the harshest possible punishment ranging up to their physical elimination," he said. "It appears that the objective of correcting such criminal can't be attained while the punishments to them should be proportionate to the menaces the actions posed to the public and serve as warnings against repetitions of the crimes of this category in the future."

Kremlin against death penalty

Russia suspended death sentences in 1997. The last death verdict was carried out in 1996. Moscow assumed an extra obligation to cancel the death penalty when it signed Protocol 6 to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms in April 1997. On that condition, it was admitted to the Council of Europe.

Debates over whether punishment by death should be reinstated have never ceased since the moratorium took effect. Society’s attitude is mixed.

Kremlin officials have repeatedly commented on proposals to introduce death penalty. Kremlin Administration Chief Sergey Ivanov said n November that it would be premature to introduce capital punishment for terrorists.

"If a referendum is held in Russia on whether the death penalty should be restored [for a number of crimes], I have no doubt that over 90% of our citizens will vote for the restoration of this measure of punishment," Ivanov said adding that it’s not always possible to give vent to emotions.

"Sometimes, it is necessary to act out of reason in compliance with Russia’s international commitments," the Kremlin administration chief stressed.

"Therefore, I personally believe, though I fully share these emotions, that this move would be premature and inexpedient to put it mildly," Ivanov said.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters commenting on the suggestion that the Kremlin proceeds on the assumption that a moratorium on the capital punishment is currently in effect in Russia.

"The issue of death penalty is extremely complicated, he noted. "After all, there is a decision on the moratorium, we proceed from this moratorium," the Kremlin spokesman said.

When asked whether the stance of the Russian President Vladimir Putin who earlier called the return of the death penalty pointless has changed, Peskov said the president "had not come up with any alternative points of view."