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The Yabloko faction succeeded in passing a number of principle amendments to the draft law "On Combating the Extremism "

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The Yabloko faction succeeded in passing a number of principle amendments to the draft law "On Combating Extremism" which was adopted by the State Duma in the second reading on June 20, 2002. The most important amendments submitted to the Duma by members of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko and Sergei Mitrokhin can be summed up as follows:

  1. Broad definitions of 'extremism" were deleted from the text. This will prevent or at least considerably hinder attempts to use the law as an instrument of political pressure against opponents to the present authorities.
  2. Statements that fan "social discord" cannot be defined as extremist. In this part the law comes into force if forced actions or calls to forced actions are used. This amendment is important, as many public organisations are created to protect the rights of certain social groups, which could have been defined as "aiming for social discord".
  3. Not only nazi symbols, but also anything similar are banned. This will make it possible to introduce a legal base to ban the symbols of fascist groups active in Russia that often used variants of fascist symbols rather than the "classical" ones.

"Unfortunately one of the most important amendments referring to the regulations on suspending the activity of public associations suspected of extremism was rejected at the plenary meeting," noted Mitrokhin in an interview with journalists.

According to Yabloko, the activity of such associations should be suspended only by court decision (today this norm applies only to political parties). Here the State Duma preserved the previous variant of the text, which stipulates a public organisation may operate pursuant to a decision of the registration agency.

Mitrokhin thinks that the law "On Combating Extremism" is vital for Russia, which is now witnessing an upsurge in extremism. According to Mitrokhin, signs pointing to the formation of an extremist underground, not only Nazi, but also radical Muslim, have appeared in the country. To combat these developments, the law enforcement agencies require a new powerful weapon, which the new law will provide.

At the same time some deputies from the Yabloko faction did not support the draft law, as they believe that rejection of the amendment on suspending public organisations is principled and that the adopted version rendered the law unacceptable in general.

Virtually all members of the Yabloko faction opposed the draft law introducing amendments to the corresponding legislative acts. In this vote the Duma failed to introduce amendments aimed at clarifying the basic notions and used broad definitions. According to Yabloko, this makes the whole draft law unacceptable.

See also:

YABLOKO Against Extremism

Press Release. June 19, 2002. The Yabloko faction will support the draft law "On Combating Extremism " in the second reading if Yabloko's amendments to the draft law are adopted.

Rosbalt. June 19, 2002. Deputy of the State Duma Sergei Mitrokhin: the adoption of the draft law on combating extremism will make it possible to fight both individuals and corresponding organisational structures

RIA "Novosti". June 20, 2002. The Yabloko faction of the State Duma: to pass a law of combating extremist activity is necessary.

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